After his knockout win over Brendan Schaub at UFC 145, Ben Rothwell wants it known that he’s coming for the heavyweight title.
“I’m willing to fight anyone the UFC wants me to fight in August,” Rothwell told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I’m going to beat whoever that is. I don’t care. Whoever it is, whoever you guys want to see me beat, I’m going to beat them in August. After that, I believe Alistair Overeem will be issued his license back December 27. That makes a perfect time for me to fight him New Year’s Eve, making me the number one contender after I beat his f---ing ass. I’m going to beat him and then I’m going to fight whoever the champion is after that. That is my plan.”
Rothwell looked to be in the best shape of his career for his victory over Schaub, which came just 1:10 into the opening round. The performance followed a number of changes Rothwell made in his regimen and in his life.
“I changed who I am friends with,” he said. “I changed my diet. I changed what I do when I have time off. I changed how I sleep. I changed everything.”
The 30-year-old heavyweight entered the fight just 1-2 in the UFC, having most recently dropped a unanimous decision to Mark Hunt.
“You don’t just lose to someone you think you can beat,” he said. “You get your ass kicked by them. ... You get your eye cut open. You get a deep gash in your face. You get scars that are never going to go away. They’re not going to leave you. The rest of your life, you’re going to remember that day, the saddest day of your life. If that happens to you, you’ve really got to take a look at your life and go, ‘What the f--- am I doing? What am I doing?’
“I thought I trained hard. I thought I was going to win this fight and I didn’t. It’s bad when you lose a fight and you know you didn’t train hard. You’re sad, but you kind of knew you had it coming. But when you train hard and lose, that’s harder to deal with. You think you’re supposed to win and you don’t. That f---s you up, and that happened to me.”
Rothwell appears to have righted the ship, though. He was impressive against Schaub, and he doesn’t plan on stopping there.
“We’re going to see something that none of you thought was going to happen: Ben Rothwell become a contender and win the UFC belt and become the champion that this sport deserves,” Rothwell said. “That’s what you’re going to see happen.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:28:00).