Tommy Langaker Reflects On Pursuit Of Greatness Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 11

Tommy Langaker

Norway's Tommy Langaker will be facing the toughest test of his career on June 9 at ONE Fight Night 11. In the evening's co-main event, the European grappler will go against Kade Ruotolo for the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship.

But Langaker's march to the top of the grappling world began many years ago with his family with traditional jiu-jitsu.

"I was lucky to have very supportive parents helping me and supporting my interest in martial arts. I managed to go on a national team there. Since I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so late, part of my life where I traveled a lot and did traditional jiu-jitsu and competition, I got the edge of getting [rid of] all those nerves. I know how to handle the competition," Langaker told ONE Championship.

Although he found success throughout Europe, Langaker did not truly know how good he was. His belief was affirmed when he stepped through the doors of Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy in California.

After hitting the mats against other top-tier submission grapplers, the Norwegian knew he could hang with the world's best. Back in Europe, with perspective on how good he was, Langaker knew exactly what he wanted to do in life.

"I'm a samurai when it comes to it. I do it because I really, really, really, really love this sport. And this is all I want to do. This is my calling. So I would just mindlessly go — never a thought about anything like economics. It [didn't] matter, it [would] all solve itself. I just pursued it," the lightweight challenger said.

Langaker would suffer for his art.

As he dedicated himself to the sport, the Norwegian faced financial hardships in his early career. But he knew the sacrifices would be worth it in the end. Because through it all, it is about the love of the sport.

"I'm doing it because I always compare it to if you're a good carpenter. If you have a nice house, you want to show it off if you're doing good work. I'm very proud of my jiu-jitsu. And I know my house is the best house, and I'll be there if somebody has anything better. But I'm going to go in there, and I believe my jiu-jitsu is always going to be superior," Langaker said.

Stepping onto the global stage, Langaker has now put those hardships to rest. Upon entering ONE, he quickly picked up two victories and a $50,000 performance bonus to earn a shot at Ruotolo and the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship.

With security, Langaker has been able to dial in on the task at hand even more. At ONE Fight Night 11, Norway's BJJ ace will try to upend one of the most heralded grapplers to complete his journey with gold.

And that is all he has ever wanted.

"It just made it a lot easier now as it's more stable. And then again, it makes it much easier to focus even more. Now, it's nothing. It's just pure laser focus."

ONE Fight Night 11 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, June 9. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is free for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.

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