Report: Ben Rothwell Returns From Suspension, Faces Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Event in March

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 6, 2019


Heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell will return from a lengthy absence to face Blagoy Ivanov at an unspecified UFC event in March.

Bulgarian outlet MMA.bg first reported the booking, and the bout was later confirmed by MMAjunkie.com. The exact date and location of the bout is currently unclear, as the Las Vegas-based promotion has not formally announced the pairing.

Rothwell was suspended by USADA for two years after testing positive for an anabolic steroid of exogenus origin in a pair of out-of-competition drug tests in 2017. The Kenosha, Wisc., native last appeared at UFC Fight Night 86, where he suffered a five-round defeat at the hands of Junior dos Santos. Prior to that, the 37-year-old International Fight League veteran had authored a four-bout winning streak that included finishes of Josh Barnett, Matt Mitrione, Alistair Overeem and Brandon Vera.

A former World Series of Fighting champion, Ivanov entered his promotional debut on a five-fight tear before dropping a five-round verdict to Junior dos Santos in the UFC Boise headliner this past July. The 32-year-old Bulgarian fighter is 16-2 with one no contest over the course of his pro career.

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