While the kickboxing superfight between Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Takeru Segawa dominates the ONE 165 headlines, another title tilt will go down on Sunday, January 28, as the co-main event.
ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo will see a familiar face across the ring from him as Tommy Langaker will get his second try at taking down the American star.
Although Ruotolo won in the first meeting, he did not get the finish. That is giving him plenty of motivation ahead of the rematch.
“I got the win. However, it wasn’t the way I wanted to win. You know, I would definitely want to get the finish. And that’s pretty much the reason why I’m accepting the rematch this time around because I want to submit him,” Ruotolo told ONE.
Ruotolo has not competed since that victory, but that doesn’t mean he has not been in the training room. During his time away from competition, the submission ace has been setting up shop in Costa Rica with his brother Tye.
Ready to return to defend his crown, Ruotolo puts the past behind him and focuses on getting a submission win in Tokyo.
“The next time we fight, I’m going to submit him. I know it’s kind of a simple answer, maybe a bit boring. But to be honest, that’s the honest-to-God truth,” Ruotolo claimed.
“And everyone that I fight that I don’t submit, I almost take it as just a poor performance, even if I was dominant. If I didn’t get the submission, then I’m not happy.”
While respectful of Langaker’s submission stylings, the American does not feel he will see anything different from his opponent on Sunday. In fact, he said that is one area that sets himself apart from the field.
“[Langaker] just kind of stays on his back and waits for his opponent to engage, and just clasp on to the legs. And if he doesn’t get that, then he’s kind of like complaining and asking around. And, you know, I’ve never been like that once in my life,” Ruotolo stated.
At ONE 165, he will have the chance to back up everything he has been saying. Knowing what his opponent will give him, Ruotolo plans to attack from all angles from the opening bell.
The lightweight king wants to put on a show and give the Ariake Arena audience a memorable night from one of the pound-for-pound best grapplers in the world.
“I believe he really does tend to go for the same things, and that’s the K-guard crunch and try to find the back-take off it. You know, there are guys that tend to run from him, he tries to chain it into a back-take, and he’s good at that,” Ruotolo said.
“However, I’m not going to be fleeing. I’m going to be entering the fire.”
ONE 165 airs live from Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, January 28. The event is available via global pay-per-view on watch.onefc.com for $39.99.