Twin brothers Kade and Tye Ruotolo recently spoke about the differences between Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and Sambo.
In the past several months, as ONE Championship continues to expand its submission grappling divisions, the organization has posed a question: Does BJJ or Sambo fare better in no-gi submission grappling?
Check out video of their discussion below.
While the Ruotolos are respectful of Sambo and how effective the Russian martial art can be in an MMA or self-defense context, they ultimately believe jiu-jitsu is the superior style for submission grappling.
“The thing is, with jiu-jitsu, there’s thousands of techniques,” said Tye Ruotolo. “And even more getting made up every single day. In pretty much every other sport – Muay Thai, boxing, even Sambo – there’s only so many combinations. That’s one thing about jiu-jitsu, that sooner or later, in a 10-minute match, I feel like a high-level jiu-jitsu guy is gonna be able to get the submission just because of all the different routes he can take to the submission.”
Unlike no-gi jiu-jitsu and submission grappling, Sambo requires its competitors to wear a jacket top and wrestling shoes. Sport Sambo matches are typically relatively short – just four or five minutes – involve relatively brief exchanges on the ground, emphasize takedowns, and are decided on points.
BJJ vs. Sambo in ONE Championship
After three jiu-jitsu vs. Sambo match-ups, BJJ holds a commanding 3-0 lead in contests held by ONE Championship.
First, in September, Rodrigo Marello set a ONE record with the fastest-ever finish in a submission grappling match when he needed just 15 seconds to submit Sambo stylist Ruslan Bagdasarian at ONE 161 with a straight footlock.
Next, in October at ONE on Prime Video 3, Kade Ruotolo took just over four minutes to secure a match-ending heel hook on four-time Sambo World Champion Uali Kurzhev. That win earned Ruotolo the inaugural ONE lightweight submission grappling world title.