Tommy Langaker seeks redemption against Kade Ruotolo at ONE 165

By BJPENN.COM Staff - January 25, 2024

The flame of redemption burns brightly for Tommy Langaker as he gears up for a rematch against Kade Ruotolo.

Tommy Langaker

Both men are slated to run it back for Ruotolo’s ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title in the co-main event of ONE 165. It takes place at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, this Sunday, January 28.

The Norwegian grappler is more than delighted to have the opportunity to even the score.

The initial clash took place seven months ago, a battle that left fans on the edge of their seats. In the end, Ruotolo scored a close unanimous decision to successfully defend his crown.

However, the taste of defeat has only fueled Langaker’s desire to prove that he was the rightful victor in their first encounter.

“I do think it should have gone my way. But when I played guard and he was playing top, it may have looked like he was putting on a pretty high pace when he was passing, and it depends on how the judges score it and what they favor. I was countering everything he was doing,” Langaker said.

“So I felt I was the one trying to be offensive in regards to submission attempts.”

One of the standout moments in their first matchup occurred when Langaker shocked Ruotolo. He sunk in a heel-hook attempt, taking an early lead.

However, the American phenom displayed resilience, countering with a foot-lock attempt of his own to level the playing field.

The remainder of the match witnessed a back-and-forth exchange, with Ruotolo’s aggressive guard-passing and back-take attempts earning the judges’ favor at the final bell.

While Langaker may dispute the scorecards, he acknowledges that the most definitive path to victory lies in securing a finish.

“I’m not complaining about it. I never will complain about it. My job is to get the submission,” he said.

Tommy Langaker expresses eagerness to bounce back

As the saying goes, to be the champion, you must beat the champion decisively.

With this mindset, Tommy Langaker approaches the rematch with determination. In fact, he wants to leave no doubt about who the superior grappler is.

“It really does suck, and it’s a sour moment. But, you know, I’ve had many losses in my career, so I try not to dwell too much on it,” he said.

“I felt how he felt, and I know his style. I know what to be aware of, and I’m just glad I get the chance of redemption and show what I can do.”

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