Ben Rothwell


Matches up with Villante at UFC 249
January 14, 2020
Rothwill is expected to face Gian Villante in a heavyweight bout at UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18, Nolan King of MMA Junkie reports.
Rothwell is coming off a controversial TKO win over Stefan Struve in December, as he committed a pair of illegal groin strikes leading up to the knockout. Villante is making the move from light heavyweight to heavyweight and hasn't fought since his TKO loss to Michael Oleksiejczuk in February.
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Earns first win in 1408 days
December 7, 2019
Rothwell defeated Stefan Struve via TKO (punches) at 4:57 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Washington D.C.
It's Rothwell's first victory in 1408 days (1/30/16) and one that comes with plenty of controversy attached. Big Ben was getting soundly beaten by Struve before smashing him with a pair of illegal groin strikes. Struve took nearly all of the ten minutes he was allotted to recover from both shots and continued to fight, but he clearly wasn't himself. Rothwell, who was (correctly) docked a point by referee Dan Miragliotta following the second shot, put together one big flurry to finish the fight late in Round 2. The entire situation was extremely bizarre and doesn't figure to do Rothwell any favors moving forward. A win is a win, but the 38-year-old Rothwell looks washed up.
Booked for UFC DC
August 13, 2019
Rothwell will take on Stefan Stuve in a heavyweight matchup at UFC DC on Dec. 7.
Rothwell has not been the same fighter in his two bouts since returning from a two-year USADA ban and a nearly three-year layoff, losing both of his fights via unanimous decision. The 37-year-old is likely barreling toward the end of his career, but he will get another shot to get back on track against another over-the-hill fighter in Stefan Struve. He'll be conceding major height and reach advantages to "The Skyskraper," though Struve hasn't necessarily used those aspects to their full potential during his time with the UFC. Nonetheless, Rothwell will look to close the distance and back Struve up against the cage in an effort to unleash his own offense. Looking to exploit a 54 percent takedown defense wouldn't be a bad idea either, though offensive wrestling has never been a major factor in Rothwell's game.
Outboxed by Arlovski
July 20, 2019
Rothwell lost to Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
Rothwell entered this fight the betting favorite, but got touched up by an Arlovski combination right around the midway point of the first round, which opened up a cut under his left eye. He landed a few big rights, but Arlovski was able to find his range with the jab and even connected with a few spinning attacks. Rothwell was wearing plenty of damage entering the second round after taking 28 strikes to the head in the first. Rothwell continued to get picked apart in the second round, where Arlovski regularly landed his jab and even mixed in some body work. Entering the third and needing a knockout, Rothwell simply didn't have enough in the tank. He did threaten late with his own flurry that wobbled Arlovski, but when it was all said and done, he allowed Arlovski to set a personal record for significant strikes landed. There's no questioning the chin and toughness of Rothwell, but he was unable to come up with the big shot he needed.
Gets redemption shot against Arlovski
May 21, 2019
Rothwell will take on Andrei Arlovski in a heavyweight matchup at UFC San Antonio on July 20, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Rothwell first met Arlovski in the cage all the way back in 2008, when he was knocked out via third-round TKO. Over a decade later, the two will face off in a clash of past-their-prime heavyweights. Arlovski has lost his last four fights (though one was technically ruled a no-contest), while Rothwell returned from a three-year layoff in March, only to drop a unanimous decision to Blagoy Ivanov. Arlovski is statistically the superior striker, while Rothwell holds the edge in wrestling, but those numbers admittedly don't mean a whole lot with both fighters on the tail end of these sample sizes. Nonetheless, the matchup should still see a prime spot on the card due to the name recognition held by each combatant.
Returns from three-year layoff with loss
March 9, 2019
Rothwell lost to Blagoy Ivanov via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.
Rothwell's first fight in nearly three years was a massive struggle and he still may have deserved to win. On the sidelines due to a two-year USADA suspension, Rothwell spent the majority of the contest struggling to connect against his much smaller opponent. He did a nice job of both controlling the pace of the bout and consistently pushing forward, but Rothwell looked considerably rusty after all the time away. Now 37 years old, Big Ben can't afford many more losses. Assuming he made it through this one relatively healthy, Rothwell needs to get back into the octagon ASAP. Prior to Saturday, Rothwell's last loss came against Gabriel Gonzaga way back at UFC on FX 7 on January 19, 2013.