It all makes sense! Well, that is what Ben Rothwell told his fans after the UFC denied him the chance to replace Mirko Cro Cop against Anthony Hamilton and they told him no and when they would not put the fight between him and Stipe Miocic on another card. That is because Ben Rothwell is now lined up to face off with Josh Barnett at UFC on Fox 18 which is scheduled for January.
UFC on Fox 18 is headlined by a bout between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader to determine number one contendership in the Light-Heavyweight division after Cormier and Jones settle who is the true champion. Barnett seemed uncommitted about a return to the cage after his win over Roy Nelson. So far he has fought three times since returning to the UFC with a win over Frank Mir and a loss to Travis Browne. He also took two years off after the loss, but at 38 years of age, he may only have one more run at the top left in him. Plus, how crazy would it be for him to fight Werdum for the title as two of the stalwarts of PRIDE that are left in the UFC going at it for a title.
He will have to go through Ben Rothwell to make that happen, and Big Ben has been on a career resurgence of his own as of late. He entered the UFC in 2009 on the strength of a 14-1 record in his previous 15 fights, but he was off to a rocky start with a record of 2-3. His losses to former UFC champion Cain Velasquez and contender Mark Hunt were not that bad, but he hit rock bottom with a submission loss to Gabriel Gonzaga. Factoring in that his only wins were over now retired fighters in Gilbert Yvel and Brendan Schaub, he had some work to do to rebuild his career. A TKO of Brandon Vera set up a match with Alistair Overeem who he knocked out in a little over two minutes and then he secured himself as better than most heavyweight fighters with a submission win over Matt Mitrione, who was on a three fight stoppage streak of his own at the time. Now, he has had terrible trouble finding fights that will elevate his status as a contender, but a win over Josh Barnett will make it hard to not call him a relevant threat to the heavyweight title. When this fight goes down who will you be rooting for out of the two veterans?