ONE Fight Night 13: Reug Reug Upsets Buchecha, Tye Ruotolo RNCs His Way to First Title Shot, and Musumeci Submits MMA Strawweight King

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article mistakenly implied that Dagi Arslanaliev claimed not to tap to Tye Ruotolo’s heel hook. Ruotolo has since clarified that Dagi did in fact tap to the submission. However, because the referee did not stop the bout, the match continued, resulting in Arslanaliev’s tap to Tye’s second submission.

Senegalese wrestler turned MMA star Reug Reug rocked the combat sports world on Friday night with a shocking upset over IBJJF Hall of Fame member Marcus “Almeida” Buchecha. The two heavyweights scrapped for three grueling MMA rounds that saw multiple positional exchanges, thanks to successful takedown attempts and reversals from both fighters that had the crowd roaring.

Buchecha, though, looked a little too willing to pull guard in positions where the Senegalese powerhouse could punish him with brutal strikes from the top — or at one crucial moment in the second round, sacrifice a comfortable spot in mount for a submission attempt that gave Reug Reug space to come back on top.

As an additional wrinkle in this clash of titans, Reug Reug was penalized with a yellow card late in the fight, due to repeated attempts to grab Buchecha’s shorts and the insides of the gloves. However, thanks to the timing of the yellow card, Buchecha was the one who arguably wound up losing momentum, as the ref had to stand both fighters back up to issue the penalty. That standup during the timeout, unfortunately for Buchecha, forced the Brazilian to give up the position he’d just earned mid-takedown.

Ultimately, this series of events would put an end to the IBJJF world champion’s undefeated MMA streak on the ONE Championship stage, as Reug Reug earned an unanimous decision victory over Buchecha.

In the pure submission grappling realm, however, American BJJ stars Tye Ruotolo and Mikey Musumeci remain secure in their places at the top of ONE Championship’s food chain.

Early in the evening, Tye squared off with Turkish MMA star Dagi Arslanaliev. The American quickly found his way to the legs of the Turkish grappler. Arslanaliev initially looked like he’d tapped to a heel hook attempt by Ruotolo, slapping the American once on the backside in the opening minutes of the round.

Tye, ever the courteous sportsman, let go of Dagi’s leg, as the two paused mid-bout. However, because the referee did not call for a stop to the match, Tye took the other man’s back, locked up a classic rear-naked choke, and earned a true tap — with no room for confusion this time around.

“I caught him with the outside heel, and I felt a tap on my back, but it was kinda a little iffy, so I just kept going, and got the choke,” Tye explained to commentators during a post-match interview. He laughed, adding a little cheekily, “I was pretty stoked to get two subs in one match!”

The submission finish — or, arguably, submission finishes, plural — earned Tye a $50,000 bonus. Ruotolo will go on to fight for the inaugural 185-pound world title in submission grappling, and though no opponent has been announced yet, he’s hoping to face the likes of Pedro Marinho or Izaak Michell.

In the co-main event, Mikey Musumeci submitted Jarred Brooks, the Division I wrestling phenom turned ONE Championship strawweight MMA champion. Brooks impressed crowds by surviving past the halfway mark with Musumeci and thwarting multiple leg attack entries. Though Musumeci managed to take Brooks’ back and lock in a body triangle, Brooks’ hand-fighting prowess — which kept Darth Rigatoni’s back attacks at bay — eventually moved the ref to stand both athletes back up. Undaunted, Musumeci nevertheless won the day with a triangle armbar.

“Man, I had this super sick back submission I was working for you guys for this match, but I got stood up before I was able to do it,” a slightly sheepish Musumeci told commentators in a post-match interview. “I almost had the grips to start doing it, but I needed to get it there faster — that was my fault. And Jared’s hand-fighting was amazing, super tough.”

Musumeci’s triangle armbar submission, nevertheless, earned him a $50,000 bonus from the promotion.

Catch up on all the action on Amazon Prime Video.


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