Kade Ruotolo set to defend ONE world title against Tommy Langaker

Kade Ruotolo will defend his ONE lightweight submission grappling world title against Tommy Langaker on June 9.

Kade Ruotolo is now scheduled for the second defense of his ONE lightweight submission grappling world title. 

On Friday, June 9, live from the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, the 20-year-old champion will take on fellow elite black belt Tommy Langaker in a 10-minute submission-only match. ONE Championship officially announced the matchup on Monday.

Undefeated since he was promoted to black belt in December 2021, Ruotolo is the youngest-ever ADCC champion and arguably the world’s top pound-for-pound grappler. 

Ruotolo made his ONE debut last May, earning a decision over legendary MMA fighter Shinya Aoki. Five months later at ONE on Prime Video 3, the Atos representative submitted Sambo world champion Uali Kurzhev to capture the inaugural ONE lightweight submission grappling world title. Two months after that, he defeated Checkmat’s Matheus Gabriel via decision to successfully defend his belt.

Against Langaker, Ruotolo will see his stiffest test yet in ONE.

Also undefeated in the organization, the Norwegian athlete earned victories over Renato Canuto and Kurzhev to secure his shot at Ruotolo’s world title.

Long considered one of Europe’s top male BJJ competitors, Langaker is a 2020 IBJJF European champion as well as a 2018 Worlds silver medalist. In 2021, he began competing in no-gi for the first time, winning the ADCC European Trials.

Kade Ruotolo vs. Tommy Langaker

On paper, this matchup has all the makings of an action-packed battle. Both men are known for their high-paced, attack-oriented style of grappling.

Ruotolo is an ultra-aggressive submission hunter with a uniquely diverse skillset, just as capable of securing the submission with a buggy choke as he is with a heel hook or rear-naked choke. At the 2022 ADCC World Championships, he submitted each of his four opponents – two by armbar and two by heel hook.

Langaker, meanwhile, tends to prefer to play guard and possesses an elite back-taking game. Like Ruotolo, he has a knack for finding the submission wherever it presents itself and is coming off his first-ever heel hook victory.

How to watch: ONE Fight Night 11 takes place on Friday, June 9, and will air live in U.S. primetime on Prime Video (free with an Amazon Prime subscription).

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.

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