“Pretty Much Does the Same Thing Every Time” Kade Ruotolo Left Unimpressed by Tommy Langaker’s Style

Published 01/25/2024, 6:57 AM EST

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Reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo thinks he’s already seen everything that Tommy Langaker has to offer. Both of the fighters are all set to fight each other but wait did Ruotolo just dissed the challenger?

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This Sunday, January 28, in the co-main event of ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru, the two elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts will lock horns in a rematch of their epic June 2023 match that saw Ruotolo retain his World Title after 10 minutes of high-paced action.

Kade Ruotolo’s Approach against Tommy Langaker

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Ruotolo and Langaker crossed paths for the first time at ONE Fight Night 11 in June 2023. During this exciting showdown, Ruotolo secured the win through a unanimous decision in a closely conte͏sted battle, successfully defending his ONE Championship title. When they run it back at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena, the young American will be loaded with confidence, sure that Langaker doesn’t have any surprises up his sleeve.

He explained: “Tommy pretty much does the same thing every time he steps in that ring. And I think that’s what makes my brother’s [Tye Ruotolo] and my games kind of hard to plan for because we could take the fight in any direction.”

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While Ruotolo and his twin brother – current ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Champion Tye Ruotolo – are known for their buzzsaw guard passing and explosive submission hunting, the Norwegian is a dangerous guard player with incredible back-takes.

Read More: “I’m Better Technically and Stronger Too” – Felipe Lobo Breaks Down His Advantages Over Saemapetch Fairtex Ahead of ONE Fight Night 17

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Ruotolo criticizes Langaker’s style as one-dimensional and passive

As effective as Langaker’s game might be, the titleholder sees a lack of aggression in it. Avoiding the fight is something Ruotolo says is simply not in his DNA: “[Langaker] just kind of stays on his back and waits for his opponent to engage, and just clasp on to the legs. And if he doesn’t get that, then he’s kind of like complaining and asking around. And, you know, I’ve never been like that once in my life.”

He added: “I believe he really does tend to go for the same things, and that’s the K-guard crunch and try to find the back-take off it. You know, there are guys that tend to run from him, he tries to chain it into a back-take, and he’s good at that. However, I’m not going to be fleeing. I’m going to be entering the fire.”

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Ultimately, the 21-year-old phenom criticizes the challenger’s game as too one-note, too reliant on a single attack. What’s more, he says that Langaker’s trademark K-guard attacks only work against opponents who avoid engaging. Ruotolo plans to meet his foe where he’s strongest, counter his K-guard, and leave Tokyo with his ONE World Title successfully defended.

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Written by:

Suryakant Das

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I'm Suryakant Das, an avid sports enthusiast from a family that cherishes the world of sports. I still vividly recall the day my father took me to watch Indian wrestling, sparking my fascination with the discipline and the aura of those warriors. Over time, my love for combat sports grew, and now, I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das

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