In March 2022, Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship announced the signing of brothers Kade and Tye Ruotolo, two of the most exciting young athletes in jiu-jitsu. The two teens have expressed an eventual interest in a move to MMA and are under contract with ONE to potential compete in both grappling and MMA matches. For the moment, however the brothers’ promotional grappling debuts are finally set.
The promotion recently announced that Kade Ruotolo will take on Shinya Aoki and Tye Ruotolo will take on Garry Tonon in submission grappling bouts on Friday, May 20th.
Kade and Tye Ruotolo have been in the grappling spotlight since they were kids competing on their local tournament scene. Their styles are based around always hunting for the submission, which helped them gain popularity through exciting and dynamic matches from their earliest competitions. In 2019, a then 16-year-old Tye Ruotolo took on the 66 kg division at the ADCC World Championships. Tye would end up taking 4th, beating world class black belts in the process.
In 2021 Kade and Tye both won the inaugural Who’s Number One Championships. Kade defeated Diego Oliveira, Josh Cisneros, and Gabriel Sousa and Tye defeated Johnny Tama, Dante Leon, and Mica Galvao to secure the title belts and the cash prizes. In December the brothers entered the brown belt lightweight division of the IBJJF World Championships. The two met in the final and fought each other, with Tye getting the victory via armbar in one of the best matches of the year.
Kade’s opponent on May 20th, Shinya Aoki, is a judo and jiu-jitsu black belt that has put together a 47-10 MMA record, with 31 of those wins coming via submission. Shinya is a master of flying submissions, jumping into armbars and triangles from scrambles to finish his opponents. Throughout his MMA career he’s also competed in submission grappling at the highest level, entering the 77 kg division of the 2005 ADCC World Championships. The match with Kade should be non-stop action as both competitors hunt for the submission from every position.
Tye will square off with Garry Tonon, one the best 77 kg grapplers on the planet and a top contender in the ONE Championship featherweight division. Tonon was awarded his black belt in 2013 and has won EBI and IBJJF Pan No-Gi titles. He also placed third at the 2019 ADCC World Championships where he submitted Dante Leon and Edwin Najmi with heel hooks. Garry suffered his first professional loss as an MMA fighter in March via KO to featherweight champion Thanh Le. He is one of the best leg lockers in the world, a style that Tye is quite familiar with. Expect to see a combination of leg lock attempts from Garry while Tye tries to counter them with his dynamic back takes.