Ben Rothwell

USA

Booked for UFC DC
HeavyweightUFC
August 13, 2019
Rothwell will take on Stefan Stuve in a heavyweight matchup at UFC DC on Dec. 7.
ANALYSIS
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.
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Outboxed by Arlovski
HeavyweightUFC
July 20, 2019
Rothwell lost to Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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
HeavyweightUFC
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.
ANALYSIS
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
HeavyweightUFC
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.
ANALYSIS
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.
Returning against Blagoy Ivanov
HeavyweightUFC
January 8, 2019
Rothwell will make his return from a two-year USADA suspension in a match against Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Wichita on March 9.
ANALYSIS
Rothwell has been out of competition since losing to Junior dos Santos back in 2016 after failing a drug test and being hit with a two-year ban. He'll face a relative newcomer on his return. Ivanov has taken part in just one UFC fight, losing by unanimous decision (also against dos Santos) in his debut in July.
Accepts two-year ban from USADA
HeavyweightUFC
April 8, 2018
Rothwell has accepted a two-year ban from the U.S. Anti-Doping agency, stemming from a positive test that occured on Feb. 6, 2017, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Rothwell spent more than a year trying to appeal the decision based largely on his attempt to get a therapeutic use exemption for the testosterone he tested positive for. The heavyweight fighter will ultimately just play the cards he's dealt, and will be eligible for a return to the Octagon in February of 2019, at which point he'll be 37 years old. Rothwell lost his most recent fight to Junior dos Santos, but had been on a four-fight winning streak leading up to that, with victories over respected fighters such as Alistair Overeem and Matt Mitrione. The Wisconsin native could still make an impact in the heavyweight rankings upon his return, as the division remains relatively shallow.