(One more Ben never hurt anything.)
At Wednesday’s press conference in Los Angeles every single Affliction employee made sure to refer to their event as “the biggest event in MMA history.” That may be a blatant exaggeration, but this coming weekend is still a monumental one for our sport, not to mention a great one for those of us who love it. With that in mind, we bring you another edition of Ben vs. Ben, where Cage Potato’s similarly named editors battle it out. This time it’s personal.
Which underdog has the best chance of scoring an upset this weekend?
Fowlkes: There are underdogs and then there are underdogs. By that I mean there are the guys who are betting underdogs and the guys who are mostly just perceived to be underdogs, even if the line on them doesn’t really reflect it.
For the latter I like Ben Rothwell. It might only be a mild upset for him to beat Andrei Arlovski, but it would go a long way toward silencing the Rothwell haters who still think his thirteen-fight win streak was all IFL hype. Some of it was, sure, but Rothwell is a monster. He can do everything Arlovski does, only better. He’s also matured and become a real workhorse in the gym since leaving the IFL, whereas a lot of guys might have slacked off with no fights on the horizon.
As for real betting underdogs, at +400 Reese Andy’s my man (okay, so the old IFL loyalties are starting to show, I admit it). It’s not that he’s so much better than Brandon Vera, but I just don’t believe Vera’s head is really in this fight. He’s still dwelling on the Werdum fight, still feeling like he ought to be a heavyweight, and now Andy’s going to come in, take him down, and grind away at his face for a decision victory. It’s definitely not out of the question.
Goldstein: Wow. You should have prefaced that response with “Caution: Extreme Nuthugging Ahead.” I like Rothwell too, but to say that he does everything Arlovski does, only better — well, it’s a statement that can only be proved by the fight itself. Still, I have to agree that Rothwell has a good shot at surprising a lot of people. Arlovski vs. Rothwell is the only fight on the Affliction main card that isn’t completely lopsided, and Big Ben has the tools to win.