Blake Cooper promises to spoil Kade Ruotolo’s MMA debut at ONE 167

By BJPENN.COM Staff - May 29, 2024

Blake Cooper wants to ensure that Kade Ruotolo’s MMA debut is far from the triumphant moment many are expecting.

Blake Cooper

Both men face each other in a lightweight MMA clash at ONE 167 on Prime Video. This U.S. primetime event emanates live from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 7.

Ruotolo’s entry into the all-encompassing sport has generated significant buzz, and for good reason. The reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion is widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound BJJ athletes on the planet.

However, Cooper is ready to challenge that narrative.

“I expect anything, you know? If he wants to stand, we can stand. And when it comes to the ground, I believe I can hold my own on the mats,” the Hawaiian said.

“So wherever it takes us, this is an MMA fight, so it’s a little bit different. But yeah, I’m expecting anything really, whether it be stand up or on the ground, just being ready for any type of scenario.”

The 27-year-old understands the distinction between a grappling match and an MMA fight, emphasizing the significance of strikes in the latter.

While Ruotolo’s expertise lies in the intricacies of submission grappling, Cooper sees opportunities to utilize ground strikes to sway the momentum in his favor.

“When he’s going for submissions or he’s trying to do something with me, if I can catch him a couple of times, he’s going to think twice and hopefully let go of those submissions, and it’s going to open up more opportunities for me,” Cooper said.

“Striking while on the ground will be important.”

Blake Cooper looks to finish Kade Ruotolo within three rounds

With a fierce determination to succeed, Blake Cooper aims to exploit any weaknesses in Kade Ruotolo’s game.

He harbors no intentions of letting the matchup go the distance, aiming to finish it within three rounds.

“I’m always trying to look for the finish. So whether it’s on the ground or standing, you know, just trying to finish this fight and get in there and get out of there,” he said.

“Not trying to put a decision on this thing, just trying to go for the finish. That’s my goal.”

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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