The first-ever ONE Championship Lightweight Submission Grappling world championship title match is taking place soon, with Kade Ruotolo facing the 4x Sambo world champion Uali Kurzhev.
Kade is the favorite coming into the bout, but not without any expectations. For instance, he will possibly have the additional pressure of representing and adding to the legacy of his coach, Andre Galvao.
Chael Sonnen explained why this might be the case:
He [Kade] and his brother [Tye] stormed into Abu Dhabi.
Kade himself wins Abu Dhabi but finished everybody to do it. He had an experience and he had exposure and people are making a big deal about his age.
It doesn’t matter how young he is, he was given a black belt by Andre [Galvao]. I believe 18, and if I’ve got that wrong, 17. And that’s very young. But if you look at hours on the map, if you look at the time put in, so he’s going to go off to ONE Championship. He’s going to have Andre with him.
The title on the line isn’t just for Kade’s taking, says Chael. Rather, it’s also for Andre:
Grappling is changing. Chatri is helping it, ONE Championship is helping it, and you are helping by supporting [them].
This weekend, world titles are on the line, and it’s not just for Kade. It also adds to the legacy of his mentor, Andre Galvao.