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After serving a two-year suspension, Ben Rothwell (36-10) is back inside the Octagon. He last fought in 2016 where he was outworked by Junior dos Santos. Ready to welcome him is former Professional Fighters League champion Blagoy Ivanov whose last fight was also a decision defeat to Dos Santos.
Prior to his loss to “Cigano,” Rothwell was on a four-fight winning streak, defeating Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett. On March 9, he will try to dust off cage rust as the Ultimate Fighting Championship takes a trip to Wichita, Kansas, for UFC Fight Night 146. Learn more about “Big Ben” Rothwell through these numbers.
17: Years old when he started training. The year was 1999, and by 2001, he was already a professional fighter. That year, Rothwell fought six times, losing only once to Tim Sylvia in an event called Extreme Challenge 42. The following year, he joined Sylvia at Team Miletich alongside other UFC greats such as Matt Hughes and Jens Pulver.
21: Seconds was all it took for Rothwell to beat Rob Shinkle in his professional debut. The event, which happened in Racine, Wisconsin, ended after Shinkle’s corner threw in the towel in the first round.
10: Fights in 2002, his most in a single year. During that year, he joined a couple of tournaments in Iowa and Hawaii and lost only to Mike Whitehead.
9: Fights at IFL where he went undefeated before leaving the promotion because of a contract dispute. He defeated the likes of Roy Nelson, Ricco Rodriguez, Travis Fulton, Devin Cole and Krzysztof Soszynski twice. Only Nelson and Rodriguez were able to hear the final bell against Rothwell. “Big Ben” then fought for Affliction and lost to Andrei Arlovski.
44: Significant strikes landed on Gilbert Yvel to earn a unanimous decision victory. Rothwell also scored five takedowns to completely dominate his opponent. The victory was his first in UFC competition as he was beaten by Cain Velasquez on his promotional debut.
1: Right hand to the temple that dropped Overeem in their UFC Fight Night 50 encounter. Rothwell followed it up with a few more punches until referee Keith Peterson had seen enough at only 2:19 of the first round. Even earlier, Rothwell also rocked Overeem with a huge uppercut as the latter was going in for a shot.
28: First-round stoppages. Rothwell has a knack for finishing fights early, a habit he kept from competing in local promotions to slugging it out with the world’s best. His first-round victims inside the Octagon were Brendan Schaub, Overeem and Mitrione.
6: Former UFC champions fought. These are Barnett, Rodriguez, Arlovski, Sylvia, Dos Santos and Velasquez.
43: Percent striking accuracy in the UFC. In the 10 times he has set foot on the Octagon, Rothwell has attempted 636 significant strikes and landed 276.
3: Post-fight bonuses. He was given the Knockout of the Night award once and the Performance of the Night award twice.