UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell (31-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) sat at UFC 115's post-fight podium and made no excuses.
He had won a unanimous decision over Gilbert Yvel on the June 12 event's pay-per-view card but said it was "not a victory" for the fight's lack of finish. He chose not to disclose that he had torn his ACL on the first takedown of the three-round contest.
Rothwell on Tuesday underwent surgery to repair both his ACL and a torn meniscus and hopes to be back in action by February or March of 2011.
The June 12 fight took place almost entirely on the mat as the two heavyweights wrestled for control. Rothwell earned the judges' nod by maintaining dominant position and utilizing ground and pound.
As it turns out, though, he was fighting on one leg.
"It's just one of those things where you hurt yourself, and you hear it, and you feel it, and you know it's going to suck later," Rothwell today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) from his home in Kenosha, Wis., where he is recovering. "I was (in the mindset) that nothing was going to stop me from fighting."
Rothwell began physical therapy on Wednesday and said doctors told him he can begin strength training in three months. He also underwent surgery recently for a deviated septum, which came courtesy of a high kick he took from Yvel late in the first round.
"The average for something like this is six months to a year (of recovery), but [doctors] think that I'm going to be on the lower end of it," he said.
The former IFL fighter said he didn't want to speak about his injuries that night because the responsibility for the fight's outcome was ultimately his. He didn't want to speak about it at all, but he wanted to set the record straight when word of his procedure recently leaked out on the Internet.
"I could have finished that fight," he said. "Hurt knee, broke nose or not, I was still going to be throwing down. I didn't want to make any excuses."
He is anxious to prove himself once again in the cage but does not want to rush a return.
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