Free Match: Is Roberto Jimenez vs. Kade Ruotolo the Best of 2021 So Far?

When Kade Ruotolo stepped in for an injured Andrew Wiltse to face Roberto Jimenez at The Road to ADCC, fans knew they were in for fireworks. Two of grappling’s consensus most entertaining competitors, Ruotolo and Jimenez seemed destined to put on a show, and they delivered just that. FloGrappling has released that entire match for free on YouTube; watch it below.

From a wild exchange just two minutes into the match until Jimenez eventually secured the rear-naked choke with eight minutes remaining, Ruotolo and Jimenez engaged constant scrambles, position changes, and near submissions. Ruotolo — giving up substantial size to Jimenez — acquitted himself well in defeat, as he nearly secured a triangle armbar early in the match and continued to threaten throughout.

Kade Ruotolo came into this match following back-to-back wins at Who’s Number One. First, he had another match of the year contender against Ethan Crelinsten, and next, he had a submission of the year contender with a buggy choke win over Cole Franson. Ruotolo is scheduled to compete in the 155-pound bracket at the Who’s Number One championships in September.

More than just an entertaining grappler, Roberto Jimenez is an elite and accomplished competitor. He came into this match following a third-place performance at the Submission Underground absolute tournament. He is scheduled to compete on behalf of Team USA at Polaris Squads in August.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

Ben Coate has 1190 posts and counting. See all posts by Ben Coate