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CagePotato Ban: Saying You’re an ’0-0 Fighter’ When You’re Not


Ben Rothwell‘s stint in the UFC hasn’t gone the way he’d hoped. After a TKO loss to Cain Velasquez during his Octagon debut in October 2009, the former IFL standout followed it up with a unanimous decision win over Gilbert Yvel that cost him his ACL. Now, 15 months later, he’s coming into his UFC 135 match against Mark Hunt this weekend with a completely new mindset. As he told Ariel Helwani:

I don’t even feel like I’m the same person now. I feel like in one year I’ve really made some major changes, and it’s gonna be pretty obvious September 24th what I’m talking about…I’m definitely coming into this fight [and] I’m 0-0. This Ben Rothwell is 0-0 coming in the UFC.”

In a way, this is the inverse of bringing back your old self. Rothwell isn’t looking to re-live the past. He wants to come back as a brand-new Ben — a clean slate, removed from all the real-life setbacks he’s suffered over the last three years. A fictional character, in other words.

Is Rothwell the first fighter to look to the future by ignoring the past? Not at all. In fact, this “0-0 fighter” thing is becoming a running gag in MMA. Melvin Guillard claimed to be 0-0 after losing to Nate Diaz. (He’s 5-0 now, if you’re keeping score.) Tyron Woodley called himself 0-0 after his lackluster win over Nathan Coy. Phil Davis thinks of himself as 0-0 every time he fights, as does Johnny Hendricks. So why all the hate for official records?

In the case of Rothwell and Guillard, I think it shows a bit of disrespect for the fighters who managed to beat them. Cain Velasquez and Nate Diaz should be proud of those victories — but the implication is that those guys beat inferior, outdated versions of Rothwell and Guillard, and if they fought again today, well, it would be a different story.

Look, Rothwell isn’t 0-0, he’s 31-7. And he’s come a long way since the days of beating the crap out of fat kids at local shows for gas money, which is something he should take pride in. Still, this “completely different fighter” routine needs to be retired. Unless Rothwell comes out shooting fireballs from his eyes and levitating around the cage, it’ll always feel like an exaggeration. No fighter is exactly the same from one match to the next.

If you’re going to devote your life to MMA, you have to accept that it will be filled with ups and downs, and those downs are going to suck. But there’s no reset button on life, as much as you’d like there to be. So own it.

Got any other ideas for CagePotato Bans? Let us know in the comments section…

Cagepotato Comments

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yuntian- November 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm
speculation that Coach Outlet France could soon senior credit strategist at Bank investors are increasingly concerned
kingking- September 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm
TOP SEX films that you will like them very much,free shippin in
weiyy- September 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm
Richard Fitzentite- September 23, 2011 at 9:55 am
Bam these spambots that you let leave links in the comment section.
linkin- September 23, 2011 at 9:39 am
TOP SEX films that you will like them very much,free shippin in
RwilsonR- September 23, 2011 at 8:07 am
If Rothwell claims he is 0-0, then he shouldn't be able to claim he is a professional fighter yet, which I assume is the only way he gets laid.
lallinho- September 23, 2011 at 7:56 am
He can think what he wants going into a fight can't he? Unless you're prepared to be punched in the face for him, then I think he can think what he wants.
Agreed though, he should attempt to levitate and shoot fireballs.
humperdinkal- September 23, 2011 at 7:44 am
Sounds like a Country version of Hulk Hogan.
humperdinkal- September 23, 2011 at 7:41 am
Ben should F fighting, ain't good enough and just join the circus-WWE. Has a great wrestling voice!
ArmFarmer- September 23, 2011 at 7:03 am
"im tired of fighters saying theyre going back to their old selves, im tired of people talkig about heart, im tired of tito ortiz, im tired of fighter saying they are 0-0..."
Man i swear you guys bitch and moan more than some of your dbag commentors... and lord knows we got some whineys commenters around here... Man those guys are annoying..
Jawbreaker_46- September 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm
We should also ban guys named Ben from using the nick name Big Ben
SumDumGuy- September 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm
do not bam midrare's hilarious ban suggestions. (it's funny 'cause it's true, right?)
skeletor- September 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm
@bg- I didn't like one of dangas articles he commented on my comment now I just give him shit
GistoftheFist- September 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm
They should ban people saying he's 7 and OH, it's ZERO goddammit, ZERO! The letter O isn't a fuckin number.
RSparrow- September 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm
Careful Ben, Mike Hunt is a ready for anything.
Fried Taco- September 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm
How about a compromise, and just say they've never won a fight. So Ben can be 0-7 coming into this fight, meaning he's a loser.
Gobbleston- September 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm
Whateva, dude. Big Ben's about to be a 0-1 fighter after Hunt... unless Hunt falls down for any reason.
Mdollas- September 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm
Lets be honest though, everyone looks 10x better when they fight Mark Hunt...
MediumRare- September 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm
Oh, and ban sanskrit from the fucking captcha. I don't know sanskrit, but I fucking know it when I see it you assholes!
MediumRare- September 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Ban stupid people. They say stupid shit. They do stupid shit. They become politicians and make me pay for their stupid mistakes.
MediumRare- September 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm
Ban fat people. They eat like pigs. They fuck up the plumbing 'cause they take shits that look like a fucking rhino used the toilet. Their motorized carts have backing alarms that beep at 500 decibels in the grocery store. And their poor health drives my insurance premiums sky high.
MediumRare- September 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Ban old people. They can't fucking drive. They pay for groceries with checks. They can't use computers - at work they ask the most ridiculous questions like, "Sonny, can you show me how to attach this fax to an email?" They smell. And they usually look like shit.
Gobbleston- September 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm
Ok, so if Jon Fitch came up and knocked someone the fuck out (hmm, as this is ridiculous and hypothetical let's say... Nick Diaz, why not?) would he relegitimize this phrase? Or would it be a new phrase? "Jon Fitch is now a 1-0 fighter"
bgoldstein- September 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm
@ skeletor: The danga-haters have arrived, huh? Never fails.
macreadysshack- September 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm
Ban banning things. You can't change the world so own it.