Ben Rothwell went on an unprecedented 17-month run in the IFL, winning nine of nine fights, including Roy Nelson, Ricco Rodriguez, Krzysztof Soszynski, twice. Then he signed with the UFC, and his first fight was Cain Velasquez, which went like every other fight Cain has had.Rothwell bounced back vs. Gilbert Yvel, suffered a torn ACL, and has been out for over a year.
But Big Ben Rothwell is back, preparing to fight Mark Hunt at UFC 135 on Sept. 24.
"I've really worked hard on myself. It's not a comeback. It's an unveiling," Rothwell told Cagewriter. "I have been off for more than a year, and instead of using it as a layoff I've used it as a huge building block. I posted a few pictures, and people said, 'Whoa, this guy ain't the same.' When I came back to Duke, he said, 'People who are off because of an injury usually gain 20 lbs. You look like you've lost 20 lbs.'
"I've been fighting for so long, and I've had layoffs, I've been out. I think I'm one of the few guys who can come back from such a long layoff and not look like I've missed a beat. I'm really banking on that fact. As far as Americans go, I'm one of the most experienced guys in the sport. I've been fighting the longest. I'm 31-7, and I've gone through a lot, inside and outside the Octagon."
"(Fighting Yvel with an injured knee) was a big challenge for me because I knew my knee was hurt, right at the beginning of the fight. I was in a must-win situation. I'm known for having exciting fights, and it wasn't one of my more exciting fights. Unfortunately for the crowd, they didn't like it, but for me, it was a tremendous mental victory because I knew what I was up against. I was on the brink of defeat, and I fought through and I won. I went through a three-round bout on one leg and won."
"A lot of these guys, especially champions, I see how they act, and it enrages me. It's not right. It's not fair. I fight for the fans because without them, I wouldn't be able to do this. A lot of guys talk the talk, but people know when they meet me, I smile in my pictures. I love giving autographs because I am very thankful for everyone that's made the sport possible. That motivating factor has made me who I am now, and it's time to go out and take what's mine."
"When I was 17, 18 years old, I was on a path of destruction. I had no guidance. I had a gorilla on my shoulder. It wasn't even a chip. I was very lost. The sport has completely changed me. It's made me a far more humble person. It showed me the truth about a lot of people, and it showed me the truth about myself. The sport has given me a reason to be a good person. I have a lot that I fight to protect, and this sport gave me all that. I am forever indebted to it."
Read entire article...
Related MMA gear from the UG Store