Like any motorist who has anger issues, anyone who is in their way will feel said driver’s wrath, as they progress towards their destination.
Let’s face it, UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell has seen his share of road blocks, pot holes and detours along the way. His debut into the marquee brand of Mixed Martial Arts resulted in being knocked out by former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez 0:58 into the second round. He would then go into a win-loss pattern with his next four bouts against Gilbert Yvel (win via unanimous decision), Mark Hunt (loss via unanimous decision), Brendan Schaub (win via first round knockout) and Gabrial Gonzaga (loss via guillotine submission).
After seeing his share of peaks and valleys, Rothwell Wegman’s to pave his own way, starting with a third round knockout of MMA household name Brandon Vera. After plowing through Vera Parkway, Rothwell went into a tangent, warning MMA Nation of his forthcoming dominance of the division. Of course, nobody outside of Rothwell’s camp, Rothwell MMA, considered this a serious alert, given his wavering pattern of wins and losses.
And then it happened!
It was September 2014…the card, UFC Fight Night 50, Sousa vs. Mousasi. Two minutes, 19 seconds into the second round, the right hook heard ’round the world connected. Ben Rothwell landed said shot that sent former Strikeforce, K-1 and Pride Fighting champion Alistair Overeem tottering to the ground, abruptly ending his night and run for the UFC heavyweight title.
Rothwell would go on to successively defeat newly signed Bellator heavyweight Matt Mitrione and former UFC, Pride and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Josh Barnett with guillotine chokes, making it clear that his submission game is just as potent as his wrecking ball-like hands.
Now Rothwell has a chance to continue paving his road to royalty this Sunday afternoon against former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who is currently in the midst of his own journey through peaks and valleys, going 3-3 in his last six bouts.
What we’ve learned of dos Santos’ last two losses is he is susceptible to the knockout. Given Rothwell’s four-fight winning streak and dos Santos’ tendency to crumble under pressure, I am a believer of Rothwell’s road rage and foresee him steamrolling through the former champion, in what should place Rothwell in his rightful position, new number one contender.
UFC Fight Night gets underway Sunday April 10th at 2pm on Fox Sports 1. Be sure to check back with us here at Take No Prisoners Sports for a recap of this heavyweight bout.
Written by Antoine Hoffman