Elite grappler Tye Ruotolo will take on Reinier de Ridder at ONE Fight Night 10.
Tye Ruotolo is getting his wish.
In December, moments after Ruotolo submitted Marat Gafurov to earn his second victory in ONE Championship’s submission grappling division, he called for a grappling match against ONE’s middleweight MMA champion Reinier de Ridder.
De Ridder has since accepted that challenge, and the two will meet on May 5 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado at ONE Fight Night 10 – the promotion’s debut on U.S. soil.
Widely regarded as one of the sport’s most entertaining competitors, Ruotolo spent a number of his teenage years grappling against elite black belts, including a fourth-place finish at the 2019 ADCC World Championships when he was just 16 years old.
Since then, Ruotolo captured a Who’s Number One title, defeating the likes of Dante Leon and Mica Galvao. At the 2022 ADCC World Championships, he suffered an early defeat to teammate Josh Hinger in the 88kg division, but bounced back in the absolute division where he earned third, losing a controversial decision to Nicholas Meregali in the semifinals.
He bounced back with a dominant showing against Gafurov at ONE on Prime Video 5.
A former two-division ONE world champion, De Ridder is one of MMA’s most potent submission artists. He is a talented BJJ black belt, and across 16 career wins, 11 have come by way of submission.
De Ridder captured the ONE middleweight and light heavyweight titles in back-to-back wins over Aung La N Sang in 2020 and 2021, respectively. He would lose his light heavyweight strap to Anatoly Malykhin in December at the same event at which Ruotolo defeated Gafurov.
This will not be De Ridder’s first foray into submission grappling. In March of last year, he took on Ruotolo’s instructor, Andre Galvao, in a 12-minute submission-only affair. That match ended without a submission, and under ONE’s rules at the time, was declared a draw.
Ruotolo will now attempt to do what his coach was unable to do – submit the MMA champion.
How to watch: ONE Fight Night 10 takes place on Friday, May 5, and will air live on Prime Video (free with Amazon Plus subscription).