Kade Ruotolo has now been booked to defend his lightweight submission grappling world title against Tommy Langaker at ONE Fight Night 11 on June 9th, 2023. The match between these two elite grapplers will serve as the co-main event for what is already shaping up to be a fantastic card from ONE Championship, as the main event fight is a Muay Thai lightweight title fight between Regian Eersel and Dmitry Menshikov. The only other fight announced for the event so far is a featherweight kickboxing match between Superbon Banchamek and Tayfun Ozcan.
Both Kade Ruotolo and Tommy Langaker are ADCC veterans and both men won their place at ADCC 2022 the hard way, with Ruotolo winning the North American East Coast trials and Langaker winning the European trials. They’re no strangers to the highest level of submission grappling and they’ve both managed to win tough matches against several of the best BJJ competitors on the planet. That’s part of why they caught the attention of ONE Championship and were among the first athletes signed to compete in their submission grappling divisions.
Kade Ruotolo made his debut for ONE Championship first at ONE 157, and he won a convincing decision over legendary Japanese MMA and BJJ competitor Shinya Aoki at the event. He fought for the inaugural lightweight title in his next appearance at ONE on Prime Video 3 and put in a fantastic performance, submitting Uali Kurzhev in less than five minutes to take home the title. He’s already had his first title-defence at ONE on Prime Video 5 too, and in it he defeated Matheus Gabriel by decision to retain the belt.
Tommy Langaker made his promotional debut back at ONE 160, where he won a decision against Renato Canuto in an incredibly tough battle. It took him a while to return to ONE Championship, although he did eventually do so at ONE Fight Night 7 when he defeated Ruotolo’s old foe Kurzhev by submission even quicker than he did. It was clear that Langaker was working his way towards a title-shot and Ruotolo has established himself as a dominant champion very quickly, so the matchup makes perfect sense.
The news that Kade Ruotolo was set to defend his lightweight world title against Tommy Langaker at ONE Fight Night 11 on June 9th, 2023 was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: