(Who’s ready for round two?)
Ben Rothwell hasn’t even had his first UFC fight yet, but he’s already got his eye on the UFC heavyweight title. He even has a little insight about the man who holds it, and how best to go about taking it from him.
While talking to Rothwell about his impending debut at UFC 104 against Chase Gormley – the same opponent he was originally scheduled to face at Affliction: Trilogy – the conversation turned to other UFC heavyweights like “Ultimate Fighter” season ten participant Roy Nelson, who Rothwell had a memorable clash with in the IFL. While Rothwell said he’s absolutely expecting a rematch with Nelson in the UFC, he went on to say that he thought of both Gormley and Nelson as preparation for a fight with UFC champ Brock Lesnar:
“I’m not excited just to be in the UFC. I’m excited to come in there and win a world title. I’m not just happy to be there. I won’t be excited until I’ve won the belt. Make no mistake, I’m coming in here to take care of business.”
“I think people would be interested in the match-up because, size-wise, I’m a bigger heavyweight too. I could cut down on a lot of his advantages, like his size and strength. My experience is an asset for me and my takedown defense is always improving. My stand-up would definitely give him some problems. Even against Mir, who I’ve never thought had fantastic stand-up, though obviously he looked good against Nogueira, but Lesnar wanted no part of the stand-up against Mir. And if he wanted no part of Mir, who’s a 240-pound heavyweight, I know he definitely wouldn’t want to stand with me. My hands and feet will hurt people.”
Rothwell mentioned that he had some experience working with Lesnar, since the former WWE star visited the Miletich camp before making his initial foray into MMA:
"Actually, a year before he really started in MMA, Lesnar came to our camp for two weeks. He watched as I – and I’m not happy about it or bragging about it – but I literally knocked a guy into a concussion during sparring with a head kick. Lesnar just said, ‘Please don’t do that to me.’ He’s not going to forget that. He’s going to know that one hit from me and that could be it.
"Don’t get me wrong, he’s got big meathooks. No one wants to get hit by him, either. But at the same time he also hurt himself trying to hit me. He actually pulled the cartilage in his ribs because he threw this big haymaker at me and I avoided it."
Check out more from Rothwell in our full interview with the new UFC acquisition, coming later this week.