Image Credits: Gracie Mag
On October 21, Kade Ruotolo will face Uali Kurzhev, a 4x world champion in Sambo, for the ONE Championship’s inaugural Lightweight Submission Grappling world title.
Kurzhev, being a Sambo athlete, is also quite skilled in Leg Locks. However, Kade isn’t afraid to go into the leg entanglement battle with his opponent.
Here’s what he said in an interview for ONE:
I know [Sambo specialists are] basically like wrestlers with Leg Locks… [But] I think any part of grappling, and any part of the match, no matter where it goes, I’m always going to feel confident in my abilities to hold my own.
Personally, I feel like my brother and I have some of the best Leg Lock defense out there.
And, of course, Sambo guys are tricky. They do some things more. A lot more Straight Ankle Locks, Toeholds, Kneebars, and things like that.
Not as many Heel Hooks, but they do dabble with them. So I’m very excited to see what he throws at me.
He went on to claim that his Heel Hook defense is so good, that even Gordon Ryan wouldn’t be able to tap him out with the submission:
I’m very confident in my Leg Locks and my counter abilities, and I don’t think anyone can really Leg Lock us [him and his brother, Tye Ruotolo] out there. At least Heel Hook us out there, for sure.
You know, even if I were to roll with Gordon [Ryan], I don’t think he can Heel Hook me. So mentally, I feel very confident in my Heel Hook defense.
You know, there are other Leg Locks out there that you can always catch people with. But I’m ready for it. And I think I’ll get the better of it.
Kade Ruotolo had an unbelievable run at the 2022 ADCC World Championships, as he’s beaten every single one of his opponents via submission. And that included another young prodigy, Mica Galvao; whom Kade submitted with a Heel Hook.
But how did he do it? Here’s the setup, as explained by Kade himself:
Shut down leg locks and turn their attack into your counters and passes with the Ruotolo brothers’ guide to staying safe.
- Kade and Tye Ruotolo are twin brothers training at Atos and two of the highest-profile and most successful young grapplers in the world.
- Escape from dangerous no-gi positions like 50/50, outside ashi, cross ashi/honey hole, and more.
- Turn heel hook attempts into your own counters as the Ruotolo brothers show you how they navigate these tricky positions.