If you ask most casual MMA fans about Saturday nights Affliction card they begin to rhymes off names like Fedor, Sylvia, Arlovksi and Barnett. Not too often will you hear the name Ben Rothwell come up in conversation. Rothwell is determined to change all that with one fight Saturday night.
Ben Rothwell might hold the title as ‘Best fighter that no one seems to know.’ But at 29-5 and undefeated in his last 13, the Wisconsin native will have the opportunity to increase his name recognition Saturday night, when he faces his toughest test yet. Ben will be taking on former UFC Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. Rothwell hopes this can be his coming out party.
In his career, Rothwell has only faced one other top 10 Heavyweight, Tim Sylvia back in 2001. But it was only Sylvia’s 4th pro fight and he was hardly considered Top 10 at the time. And Rothwell lost.
But in 2008, it’s difficult to argue Ben’s place in the top 10. Some have suggested that since Big Ben has been fighting in the IFL against perceived weaker opponents, that has hurt his ranking.
“You get people who say I haven’t fought good enough competition, but if you look at my record and look at how long I’ve been around and who I’ve fought, I think it’s (Top 10 ranking) deserved. Now it’s just a question of do I stay on the list and do I move up on it.” Rothwell noted in June.
Saturday night may determine if he truly does belong there, as he will be taking on someone who clearly belongs in the top 10, Arlovski. A win over him will propel Rothwell deep into the heart of the divisions ranks, and should turn some heads in the process.
Rothwell is excited for that chance, and told Cagepotato in April that,
“Every guy above me has fought top guys and has earned his place above me. The number nine or ten spot, I think, is for someone who still needs to prove themselves against other guys in the top ten, and that’s where I am.”
Rothwell, the 6’5, 265 lbs stand out from MFS knows what it takes to win. And he’s being doing a lot of it lately, as told by his 13 fight win streak.
Saturday night Rothwell will look to keep that win streak alive, by defeating a former UFC Superstar.
He will fight to earn the respect and name recognition, that he is so very deserved of.
And he will look to continue his climb up the Top 10 Ladder.