Kade Ruotolo recently talked with the South China Morning Post in a post-fight interview at ONE Fight Night 11, and the conversation eventually turned towards Gordon Ryan. The interview took place shortly after Ruotolo successfully defended his lightweight submission grappling title against Tommy Langaker at the event and he was happy to talk about his plans for the future. While there are plenty of interesting matches for him that ONE Championship could make in the coming months, one figure looms larger than ever over the Jiu-Jitsu world.
Gordon Ryan is widely regarded as the greatest no gi grappler on the planet right now, but he’s been out of competition for several months and recently shared the health issues that have kept him off the mats along with an updated look at how his body has coped. Ruotolo doesn’t quite believe the story though:
“I mean, those are obviously steroid side effects. Things like that, you know, he gets so big and then all those antibiotics, this and that, just completely wrecked his stomach and other things… So, to me, I don’t know how you could be possibly talking when you’re… He looks like 200lbs right now, you know what I mean? I think I’d be able to. Right now if we were to against him in a match, or my brother, I think it’d be effortless, you know what I mean? I think the only thing that makes his Jiu-Jitsu work is his size.”
Kade Ruotolo also explained why he’s not attributing the recent change in physique that Gordon Ryan experienced to the health issues he’s experienced:
“Everyone has different health things going on but he has the same body type that he had before he took all of these different steroids. His first fight with Felipe Pena, he looks like now, you know what I mean? To me it’s not even like ‘oh, you got this huge sickness’ or this and that, it just looks like he’s off-cycle.”
While it might seem at first glance like Kade Ruotolo is trying to set up a potential match with Gordon Ryan, his brother Tye has already been working on that before him:
“To be honest, that’s the one Tye’s (Ruotolo) been after forever and that’s the one Tye really wants to accomplish. Tye wants to be the greatest of all time in Jiu-Jitsu and to do that he’s gotta beat Gordon (Ryan). So it’s just a matter of time, you know? Tye’s only getting bigger, better every day so it’s just a matter of time. Me? It’d be cool, it’d be super… It would be a big notch on the belt obviously but to me, honestly I’m so in love with… I’m falling more in love with MMA every single day and I really wanna start making that push too.”
Kade Ruotolo has been open about wanting to pursue a career in professional MMA before, and it’s clear that both that and a match with Gordon Ryan would require a lot of specific training. It would obviously be difficult to try and prepare for both at the same time, and not worth the risk of jeopardizing his chance of success in either one. In fact both he and his brother Tye have been clear that they intend to make their MMA debuts at some point in 2023. So while Kade Ruotolo is prioritizing that above all else, it seems as though his brother might still be interested in taking on Ryan before he makes that transition.
The interview with Kade Ruotolo where he made those comments on Gordon Ryan and his future transitioning to MMA was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the South China Morning Post: