ONE Championship CEO reveals Tye Ruotolo vs. Nicholas Meregali rematch is headed to ONE

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong says the organization is planning a match between Tye Ruotolo and Nicholas Meregali.

ONE Championship is currently putting together what would be one of the biggest submission grappling matches of 2023. According to promotion’s CEO Chatri Sityodtong, a matchup between Nicholas Meregali and Tye Ruotolo is in the works.

The pair first met in the semifinals of the absolute division at the 2022 ADCC World Championships, with Meregali walking away the winner of a close decision in what was one of the best matches of the tournament.

Since then, Ruotolo has been vocal about wanting a rematch with the Brazilian, and it looks like he may soon get his wish in ONE Championship.

Earlier this month, Ruotolo earned his third straight victory in ONE, securing a decision win over ONE middleweight MMA world champion Reinier de Ridder at ONE Fight Night 10. After the event, Sityodtong revealed that Meregali has accepted the match against Ruotolo.

Sityodtong said:

“Meregali has accepted already so it’s been something we’ve been planning. Obviously, he’s red-hot, one of the best grapplers in the world but Tye’s ambition is to be the future GOAT and I think he has all the right tools, all the right athletic and natural abilities, and excitement factor.”

Tye Ruotolo vs. Nicholas Meregali

Both Tye Ruotolo and Nicholas Meregali are among the world’s top pound-for-pound no-gi competitors, and if their first back-and-forth match was any indication, a rematch would likely produce fireworks.

Still just 20 years old, Ruotolo has been competing among the planet’s best grapplers since he was a teenage blue belt. In addition to his undefeated ONE record, the Andre Galvao black belt holds notable victories over WNO champion Pedro Marinho, former ADCC absolute champion Felipe Pena, and, in his ONE debut, Garry Tonon.

Meregali, meanwhile, is still relatively new to the no-gi scene but has already established himself as one of the world’s best. After moving to Austin, Texas last year to train under John Danaher at New Wave Jiu-Jitsu, the multiple-time gi world champion has shown incredible improvements in his overall no-gi game, particularly with respect to his wrestling and leg lock awareness. 

Beyond his victory over Ruotolo, Meregali boasts no-gi wins against ADCC absolute champion Yuri Simoes, ADCC champion (and New Wave teammate) Giancarlo Bodoni, and veteran Rafael Lovato Jr. (twice).

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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