As ONE Championship rapidly expands its roster of world-class submission grapplers, a new world title will soon be up for grabs.
On Friday, October 21, Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom Kade Ruotolo will battle accomplished judoka and sambo stylist Uali Kurzhev for the inaugural ONE lightweight submission grappling world title at ONE on Prime Video 3 – live in U.S. primetime.
Ruotolo might be the hottest grappler in the sport today, having just completed one of the most impressive gold medal runs ever at the 2022 ADCC World Championships.
The 19-year-old not only submitted all of his opponents, but he also entered the record books as the youngest champion in the history of the prestigious event.
A black belt under fellow ONE Championship athlete Andre Galvao, Ruotolo is known for his ultra-aggressive, submission-hunting style that may appear reckless, but is actually the product of technical refinement under elite instructors.
In March, Ruotolo and his twin brother, Tye Ruotolo, signed with ONE Championship, further cementing the organization's submission grappling ranks as the home for top talent.
Just a few months later at ONE 157, the young prodigy dominated former ONE lightweight world champion and dangerous submission specialist Shinya Aoki, securing a win in his promotional debut.
But across from Ruotolo at ONE on Prime Video 5 will stand a uniquely challenging opponent.
The 33-year-old Kurzhev is a four-time sambo world champion, as well as an International Judo Federation grand slam and grand prix champion.
Moreover, their matchup represents an interesting clash of styles.
With a life spent perfecting Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ruotolo is comfortable fighting from his back and engaging in long, complex grappling exchanges that involve a wide range of submission techniques.
Kurzhev, on the other hand, possesses excellent takedowns and top control. He also owns a deep understanding of how to apply explosive leg locks – a hallmark of the Russian art of sambo that will present the American with new problems to solve.
This story first published at ONEFC.com.