Kade Ruotolo Unconvincing in His MMA Debut Back at ONE 167

ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo shocked the world when he knocked out seasoned MMA fighter Blake Cooper in his first foray into the all-encompassing sport at ONE 167 earlier this month.

The 21-year-old phenom will return to his submission grappling roots in September, however, when he defends his crown against ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci at ONE 168 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on September 6.

Appearing on The MMA Hour podcast, Ruotolo said he was just getting warmed up when he secured the fight-ending bareback choke in the opening round against Cooper.

“I wouldn’t say it went better than I thought, and I would say it went worse than I thought. I definitely felt on my feet, I had a lot more to show for my batting,” he said.

“I loved every second of it. The second it was over, I wanted to step back in the ring and fight that night. It just made me want to come back for more. I want to become the best, I want to become the champion. In everything I do, I have this illusion where I want to become the best at it. So, that’s always the goal.”

The question is whether an athlete can become the best at something while juggling other things.

For Ruotolo, the pendulum will have to swing towards MMA at some stage if he is to achieve his goal.

“I think there will be a time where jiu-jitsu is put on a bit, but never completely,” he said.

“There will still be certain tournaments and some things. I still want to keep my belt and make those big tournaments. So, maybe once or twice a year [I’ll compete] in jiu-jitsu, give or take. I really want to step on the gas for MMA.”

If the Kade Ruotolo has his way, he’ll be back on home soil for another rumble sooner rather than later.

Kade Ruotolo previews next MMA fight at ONE 169: Atlanta

Grappling master Kade Ruotolo is already looking ahead to his next MMA fight, which he hopes will take place at ONE 169: Atlanta on November 8th.

“Sure, I’m trying to enter a card as soon as possible,” he said.

“We have some big jiujitsu stuff lined up. You have that September card in Colorado with ONE Championship [against Mikey Musumeci]. I’ll be on that, but hopefully right after that I’ll put the gloves back on. I think it’s a November card.”

To hit a two-month turnaround, however, he will need to emerge unscathed from his showdown with leglock wizard Musumeci.

“Darth Rigatoni” has submissions in five of the seven wins in his undefeated ONE career thus far.

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