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Debate

Is Tye Ruotolo the next big thing in MMA after his stellar performance at ONE Fight Night 23?

Tye Ruotolo added to his perfect run in ONE Championship this past weekend, and he’s far from finished. At ONE Fight Night 23, the welterweight submission grappling king defeated South African debutant Jozef Chen by unanimous decision in a catchweight match inside the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

The two skilled ground specialists needed all 10 minutes to declare a winner, but Ruotolo emerged the victor thanks to his aggressive approach.

Tye Ruotolo eager to follow brother Kade into the MMA

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While he wasn’t defending his belt, the Californian’s dominant performance showed his champion mindset. And with a seventh submission grappling win secured, the inevitable question of when he’ll decide to move to mixed martial arts came up in his post-fight interview.

Poll of the day

Do you think Tye Ruotolo will dominate in MMA as he has in BJJ?

Absolutely

Maybe

No way

Too early to tell

Tye’s brother, ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade, successfully transitioned to the all-encompassing sport last month, and it appears he may be ready to do the same.

“I think it’s a little bit better than Kade’s. But yeah, I can’t wait to do MMA, I’m so excited to go. I’ve been watching my brother’s last fight, it got me so fired up. It was so rad to see him. We always grew up watching MMA fights, and we always knew that we wanted to be MMA fighters one day, too, not just [become] fighters, but the best,” Ruotolo said.

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The twin siblings have been fixtures in submission grappling since they were old enough to compete, and they have become key faces of the sport in ONE Championship over the last two years.

Ruotolo’s MMA debut and future goals

After much anticipation, Kade debuted in MMA at ONE 167 in June and scored a first-round submission win over American star Blake Cooper. Tye is intrigued by the thought of testing his skills, but he is laser-focused on cementing his name as one of the best grapplers of all time first. Once that’s done, the 21-year-old will be ready to explore his options.

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“I’m happy to get this win in jiu-jitsu. One more for the legacy. My legacy is not done. I want to be the best in the world of jiu-jitsu. No questions, no matter what. I know I’m on my way. I think right now, we’re probably considered the best, my brother and I, for sure,” Ruotolo said.

He further added, “But I want to be pound-for-pound, the best in the world. So I’m not going to stop until I get to that. But an MMA fight, that’s such a big thing for me, so I’m excited to be a part of the race there too.”