Tye Ruotolo On Making A Living From Jiu-Jitsu: “You Never Work A Day In Your Life”

Tye Ruotolo On Making A Living From Jiu-Jitsu: “You Never Work A Day In Your Life”

Tye Ruotolo never envisioned making a sustainable living from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Growing up with his brother Kade, the 21-year-old always viewed grappling more as a passion than a viable career…
However, the BJJ landscape is rapidly evolving.

Promotions like ONE Championship have created grappling-specific divisions, and two-time ADCC silver medalist Craig Jones has launched a tournament with a staggering $1 million grand prize.

Both Ruotolo brothers opted out of ADCC to join Jones’ tournament.
Tye acknowledged that the financial incentive was a significant factor in their decision:

My parents put their lives into us with Kade and I growing up in jiu-jitsu and there was no money in it whatsoever.
Very little opportunity.

For you to be able to make a living, you had to go open up a gym and be committed to that gym and that’s where you’d get your money as a professional Jiu-Jitsu fighter.

You couldn’t win the Worlds and these other competitions and support yourself.
It just wasn’t possible.

Things are much different today, though:

Nowadays, I just thank my parents so much for investing everything that they had.
They gave everything to us and it was nothing [in return].

Now we’ve come full circle, thank god, because we have an opportunity to win a million dollars next month.

ONE Championship is paying us the most we’ve ever been paid in our whole lives.
ONE Championship set up a championship contract, which is something that’s never been done before.

There’s just so much more money and opportunity in Jiu-Jitsu that wasn’t there before.
It’s such good timing.

Ruotolo is now able to focus solely on his sport without financial worry:

Super happy to be healthy enough and ready to get the money and the opportunity and the titles.

That’s what it’s all about.
You love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

I’m stoked to do what I love.


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