Kade Ruotolo Set for MMA Debut at ONE 167 After Dominant Jiu-Jitsu Career

Kade Ruotolo, the ONE lightweight submission grappling champion, makes his highly anticipated MMA debut against Blake Cooper at ONE 167. As a renowned grappler, his transition to MMA will be closely watched, potentially inspiring more elite jiu-jitsu fighters to follow suit.

Salman Khan
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Kade Ruotolo Set for MMA Debut at ONE 167 After Dominant Jiu-Jitsu Career

Kade Ruotolo Set for MMA Debut at ONE 167 After Dominant Jiu-Jitsu Career

Kade Ruotolo, the reigning ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion, is preparing to make his highly anticipated professional MMA debut at ONE 167: Stamp vs. Zamboanga on June 7th in Bangkok, Thailand. The 21-year-old American, who has been training in jiu-jitsu since the age of 8 alongside his twin brother Tye, will face fellow countryman Blake Cooper in his first MMA bout.

Ruotolo has established himself as one of the world's premier grapplers, securing multiple victories in ONE Championship's submission grappling events. His mastery of grappling and scramble situations has made him a formidable opponent, with rivals wary of getting caught in transitions against the Ruotolo brothers. In his most recent match, Ruotolo extended his promotional record to 6-0 by submitting Francisco Lo with the 'Ruotolotine' in a non-title catchweight matchup.

The IBJJF world champion's jiu-jitsu skills have been honed over years of dedicated training and competition. Ruotolo recently discussed the importance of mastering leg locks to elevate his grappling game. His victories over respected fighters like Japanese legend Shinya Aoki have solidified his status as a top-tier grappler.

However, Ruotolo is now ready to test his skills in the MMA arena. His debut opponent, Blake Cooper, is the brother of two-time PFL champion Ray Cooper III, adding an intriguing storyline to the matchup. The event, which features two world title fights, will be available for live and free viewing in North America with an active Amazon Prime Video subscription.

Why this matters: Kade Ruotolo's transition from jiu-jitsu to MMA marks a significant moment for both sports. As a highly accomplished grappler, his performance in the MMA cage will be closely watched by fans and analysts alike, potentially paving the way for more elite jiu-jitsu practitioners to make the crossover.

As Ruotolo prepares for his MMA debut, fans eagerly await to see how his world-class grappling skills will translate to the more dynamic and multifaceted environment of mixed martial arts. With his impressive jiu-jitsu pedigree and the backing of the ONE Championship platform, Kade Ruotolo's journey into MMA promises to be an exciting one to follow.

Key Takeaways

  • Kade Ruotolo, 21, to make MMA debut at ONE 167 on June 7th in Bangkok.
  • Ruotolo is the reigning ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion.
  • Ruotolo will face fellow American Blake Cooper, brother of Ray Cooper III.
  • Ruotolo's jiu-jitsu skills, including leg locks, have made him a top grappler.
  • Ruotolo's MMA debut marks a significant crossover from jiu-jitsu to MMA.