- ONE’s series of big fight announcements continues, with the middleweight MMA champion taking on the 20-year-old BJJ phenomenon.
- De Ridder will capture Ruotolo at ONE Fight Night 10 – the action’s U.S. debut on location on May 5 in Denver, Colorado
All martial arts content – including ONE Championship coverage – has been made freely available. Please consider supporting SCMP’s journalism through a subscription. ONE Championship’s series of big battle announcements continued Monday night. After CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced three Muay Thai and kickboxing title fights, the promotion also made a submission Grappling Super Fight official.
MMA middleweight champion Reinier de Ridder will face Tye Ruotolo on May 5 in Denver, Colorado at Fight Night 10 – ONE’s U.S. debut on site. The 20-year-old Ruotolo, the twin brother of ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling Champion Kade Ruotolo, called for a fight after his recent victory in the Circle at ONE on Prime Video 5 in Manila.
“Reinier de Ridder says he can substitute anyone in the world. I would like to test that. It’s a little bigger, but I think I can use it,” Tye Ruotolo said after receiving a $50,000 bonus in the Philippines with an armbar submission from former FEATHERWEIGHT ONE MMA champion Marat Gafurov.
Tye’s callout came on the map early, and De Ridder reacted quickly from his warm-up room backstage at the Mall of Asia Arena – where he was to defend his light heavyweight MMA title in the Main Event against Anatoly Malykhin.
“Let’s go, Tye,” de Ridder said. “Let me go through this Russian first and then I will strangle you.”
“The Dutch Knight” (16-1) was finally brutally knocked out by Malykhin in the first round, although the date of his return to the competition is still unclear. “He [De Ridder] had a pretty hard blow tonight, the knockout finish was bad,” Kade Ruotolo told the Post in Manila. “When he’s recovering and ready for it, I think a jiu-jitsu match probably isn’t as intimidating as someone like Anatoly.”
“I love fighting big boys and beating bigger people,” Tye added along with his brother. “That’s the true essence of Jiu Jitsu – with pure technique, you should be able to beat anyone, no matter how big they are. Everyone in the world, the bigger, the better.”
De Ridder had ridiculed the Ruotolos in an Instagram post last month, apparently to drive one of them to a match.
“Here’s a picture of me and my sons,” he wrote alongside a recording of them after ONE on Prime Video 5’s press conference at Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila. “Do you think one of them can already beat his father in a grappling match?”A former BJJ European champion, De Ridder is no stranger to submission grappling in ONE, having already fought the legendary Andre Galvao to a draw in Singapore last March.
Ten-time BJJ World Champion Galvao happens to be the mentor of Tye and Kade Ruotolo, who has been training them at his Atos Jiu Jitsu gym in San Diego since childhood.”Good luck,” he wrote in the comments under De Ridder’s social media post, in which he challenged the Ruotolos.