Kade Ruotolo is bringing his entire arsenal when he makes his ONE Championship debut against submission savant Shinya Aoki.
Ruotolo will get inside the circle for the first time to take on Aoki in a submission grappling match at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot. The blockbuster event will be broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 20.
In an interview with ONE Championship, the 19-year-old Ruotolo said he’ll try to play off of Aoki’s offense and lock in whatever submission he can get in the situation.
Kade Ruotolo said:
“Whether it’s a D’Arce, a front headlock choke, if I get on his leg, or it could be a buggy choke, I think I have a lot of different routes to victory for this match. I’m diverse with my submissions, so it’s hard to pick a specific one. We’ll see what he gives me.”
While it’ll be a submission grappling match, Ruotolo added that he expects their fight to start with either wrestling or judo.
“[I expect] probably a strong wrestling scrap, judo exchanges, some sort of takedown exchange on the feet. Within one or two minutes the fight will definitely be on the ground. And I think, regardless if I’m on the bottom or he’s on the bottom, shortly after that moment, I think I’m going to find the submission,” remarked Ruotolo.
Kade Ruotolo plans to pinpoint Aoki’s weakness
Although Aoki is considered one of the best submission specialists in ONE Championship, the Japanese legend is primarily a mixed martial artist, having won the ONE lightweight world championship multiple times.
Aoki has fought in two submission grappling matches against Garry Tonon and Marat Gafurov in ONE Championship. It was in MMA, however, that ‘Tobikan Judan’ collected 30 submission wins.
Ruotolo praised how Aoki maintains a consistent pace in his grappling and gets into near flawless transitions whenever he gets on the ground. Nevertheless, the 19-year-old newcomer is eager to find any weakness that his 39-year-old opponent may have.
“As you’ve seen in his entire MMA career, [jiu-jitsu] is pretty much his main weapon, right? I’m just looking forward to finding his weaknesses and executing my plan.”
Kade Ruotolo added that one of the earliest times he’s watched Aoki was during the Japanese legend’s match against Garry Tonon, the same man whom his twin brother Tye will face at ONE 157.
“I know [Aoki is] a bit of a workhorse. He looks isometrically strong. And he looks like he doesn’t make too many errors. He’s very good at keeping a consistent pace and a consistent rhythm in his fights. Oddly enough, pretty much one of his only jiu-jitsu matches that I’ve seen was against Garry, Tye’s opponent, and he impressed the heck out of me.”