Tye Ruotolo, a BJJ prodigy, has his sights set on transitioning to mixed martial arts.
Tye Ruotolo was successful in his ONE Championship submission grappling debut. He managed to tap out the legendary Garry Tonon at ONE Championship 157 in a turn of events that surprised many.
Ruotolo demonstrated better mobility in the first two minutes of the match. He locked in a D’Arce choke and was promptly declared victor via submission.
Ruotolo talked to the press after the match about his future and hinted at the possibility of fighting in MMA.
“My goal in jiu-jitsu right now is to just keep being the best version of myself, and to get to the title in jiu-jitsu and to the title in MMA is what my brother and I want to do as well. So we’ve got a lot of goals right now,” Ruotolo added.
“I just finished that match, so I really don’t know who I want next in jiu-jitsu. Maybe an MMA debut. My brother and I are really scratching for that. I’m really down to fight anybody in the world. Big, small, I’m ready to go.”
Tye Ruotolo spoke on the prospect of returning to compete in MMA rather than BJJ.
“Garry Tonon would be fun for the fans for sure. He’s 6-1 in MMA. He just came off a title fight, and I don’t know if Chatri [Sityodtong, ONE CEO] would let me debut [against] Garry Tonon. I had dinner with him the other night, I think he kind of seemed interested in the idea.”
“That would be really cool. After my performance tonight I kind of deserve it. In jiu-jitsu I proved I’m better than him, in the most humble way possible, and I think that my hands are better than his too, just being realistic. So I’d love to fight him in MMA.”
On the same night as Tye, his twin brother Kade Ruotolo made his debut in the promotion. Kade won against Japanese veteran Shinya Aoki after dominating the fight.
If the twins’ BJJ skills are any indication, they might have a successful MMA future ahead of them.
A lot relies on how ONE CEO Sityodtong hopes to integrate them into the business. If a deal is struck, they will most likely get a crack at MMA.