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Tag: Ben Rothwell

UFC Booking Roundup: Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell, Andrei Arlovski vs. Bigfoot Silva 2 Added to September Cards


(You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”)

Dana White might insist that he’s not trying to compete with Bellator on September 5th — but the UFC is making damn well sure that its Connecticut card will be worth watching. In addition to Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 being confirmed as UFC Fight Night 50′s main event, the following matches have also been added to the FOX Sports 1 card…

- Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell: Coming off a redemptive win against Frank Mir in February and a layoff for elbow surgery, Overeem will take on fellow heavyweight Ben Rothwell, who will be competing for the first time since his August 2013 TKO of Brandon Vera and subsequent nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone. (Again, UFC Fight Night 50 is taking place on an Indian reservation, so Overeem and Rothwell probably won’t have to deal with any inconvenient random drug tests before the match.)

- Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis: Mitrione was supposed to compete at last weekend’s UFC 175 event until his opponent Stefan Struve collapsed in the locker room and was pulled at the last minute. “Meathead” has now been re-scheduled against Derrick Lewis — better known as “The Black Beast” — who has gone 2-0 in the Octagon so far, with both wins by first-round TKO. Lewis most recently finished Guto Inocente at the TUF 19 Finale. I smell a slugfest.

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The Nine Most Disappointing Debuts in UFC History


(Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

Tomorrow night in Georgia, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold returns to the Octagon for the first time since having his face kicked into space by Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8 last May. Although Belfort was coming off a blistering head kick KO of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7, many were still picking and betting on Rockhold to defeat “The Phenom” in his UFC debut, and the betting line surprisingly closed as a pick ‘em.

Things didn’t go Rockhold’s way that night, to say the least. In hindsight it’s not such a bad loss considering what Belfort did to iron-chinned Dan Henderson in his next bout, but it was still incredibly disappointing for the highly-touted Californian to be knocked out in less than five minutes when — on paper at least — the fight with Belfort should have been much more competitive.

Of course, Rockhold isn’t the first UFC fighter who fell short of expectations in his Octagon debut. The question is, will he rebound in his second fight, or fall deeper into “bust” territory? Read on for our list of eight other fighters who didn’t live up to the hype in their first UFC appearances, and let us know if we’ve left out any notable disappointments.

Ben Rothwell

(Photo via Getty)

After the IFL collapsed, the promotion’s former heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell made his way over to the UFC and debuted against fast-rising contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 104. Although Rothwell’s aura of invincibility had been cracked by Andrei Arlovski’s limbs at Affliction: Banned the previous summer, there was still hope that he could get back to his winning ways and make a run for the UFC heavyweight title.

But against Velasquez, it was clear that Rothwell was thoroughly outclassed by a far superior mixed martial artist, and “Big Ben” suffered the second true knockout loss of his career. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that Rothwell couldn’t hang with Velasquez, the current UFC heavyweight champion, but at the time it was a harsh reality check for those hardcore MMA fans who believed in Rothwell after his IFL run.

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Turns Out Ben Rothwell Was Undergoing a Little *Too* Much Testosterone Replacement Prior to His Bout With Brandon Vera


(If not for his doctor’s advice, Rothwell would have fully completed his transformation into Wolverine that night. Photo via Getty.)

You guys remember how Ben Rothwell jumped on the TRT train prior to his bout with Brandon Vera at UFC 164? And how Vera claimed that “it wouldn’t help?” Well, it did. Unfortunately for “Big Ben,” it helped him a little *too* much, actually. MMAJunkie just passed along word that, although Rothwell was only given an “administrative warning” by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, he has been suspended by the UFC for 9 months following a positive test for elevated levels of testosterone at UFC 164.

Shockingly, Rothwell was shocked to learn the shocking news:

Following my victory at UFC 164 I was informed I tested for an elevated level of testosterone. This came as a shock because I had applied for and was granted a TRT exemption and was doing so under the supervision of a doctor. I was tested every week for eight weeks prior to the fight and was well under the acceptable level each time.

My God, does Lavar Johnson’s “doctor” not even realize how many fighters he is screwing over with his ignorance? HE’S TAKING AWAY MENS LIVELIHOODS DAMN IT!

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The Potato Index: UFC 164 and ‘Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader’


(“We’re not angry with you, Ryan. We’re just disappointed.” Photo via Getty.)

Since ReX was finally able to unearth the Potato Index Supercomputer from his “Rave Cave” last week — which, FYI, is just a storage bin packed to the brim with CP t-shirts, used glowsticks, regifted blenders and vintage German porno mags — we figured we might as well continue running with this outdated piece of technology for the sake of nostalgia. For CagePotato readers, if anything, are a nostalgic bunch. Stubbornly trapped in the past and all but refusing to accept change you might even go as far as to say, but I digress. In any case, here are the numbers the CP Supercomputer was able to churn out based on the results of UFC 164 and Fight Night 28.

Anthony Pettis +108 

Two promotions. Two title fights. Two clear cut victories. Not only did Pettis earn an eternal place in Ben Henderson’s nightmares with one kick during their first encounter, but now he done went and submitted him inside of 5 minutes in their second. Lock up your daughters, lock up your wife, lock up your back door and run for your life. “Showtime” is back in town and he don’t mess around.

Bendo -47

Shit happens when you start talking about beating Anderson Silva’s title defense record with 0 finishes in 7 UFC fights. We don’t mean to kick a classy guy like “Smooth” while he’s down, so for now we’ll just say that it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting another crack at the new champ anytime soon. It’s called the Koscheck Rule of Twos.

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UFC 164 Aftermath: Milwaukee’s Best


(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By George Shunick

The year’s not over, but when it’s said and done, don’t be surprised to see UFC 164 stand atop as the crown jewel of the promotion’s endeavors in 2013. The main card delivered in spades, with four finishes – albeit one controversial one – and one fight of the night which somehow didn’t manage to win the actual Fight of the Night bonus. But the big story last night was the ascension of Anthony Pettis to the lightweight throne. There has not been a dominant champion in the most talented division in MMA since the downfall of BJ Penn at UFC 112. If last night was any indication, Anthony Pettis is going to the answer to the series of frustrating draws and questionable decisions that have plagued the top of the division in Penn’s absence.

In the fight itself, Benson Henderson’s strategy became immediately clear – clinch, clinch, clinch. The majority of the round saw Henderson use his strength to drive Pettis into the fence and keep him there while working short strikes to Pettis’ legs. Henderson also attempted a number of takedowns, all of which were stuffed. When the two finally separated for a period of time, it became evident just why Henderson was so eager to keep the fighting in close. Pettis, fighting out of orthodox stance as a means of opening up the body kicks that come when two fighters square off in opposite stances, proceeded to capitalize on that particular strategy, landing four kicks to the body which clearly discomforted Henderson. Pettis, perhaps a little too pleased with his work, then attempted a cartwheel kick, only to be taken down by Henderson. Working in Pettis’ open guard, Henderson planted his right arm on the mat. Pettis immediately grabbed an overhook and soon after went for the armbar.

Henderson defended well at first, but as Pettis rotated on his back, the pressure increased on Henderson’s elbow to the point where it popped and the champion verbally submitted. Pettis became the second man to submit a champion since BJ Penn did it to Matt Hughes in 2004, and he did it against a man who is exceptionally difficult to finish in under a round. Considering that it was previously believed that his standup was his main weapon, it should go without saying at this point that Pettis is not only one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he could possibly be the best. A fight with Jose Aldo would go a long way to determine that, but a fight with T.J. Grant wouldn’t hurt either. Now the bad news; Pettis claims his knee popped during the fight. Hopefully it’s minor, but it would be a shame to lose Pettis so soon after such an impressive performance. Meanwhile, once his elbow heals, Henderson will be back. He’s insanely tough, well-rounded, athletic, technical… he’s just a level or two below Anthony Pettis. Maybe everyone else is too.

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UFC 164 Results & Video Highlights: Pettis Wins Title, Barnett Stops Mir


(Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC lightweight champion by submitting Benson Henderson in the first round at UFC 164 Saturday night | All videos via FoxSports Youtube)

Full UFC 164 Quick Results:

Anthony Pettis submits Benson Henderson with an arm bar from the bottom in the first round.

Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir in the first round.

Chad Mendes wins with a third round TKO over Clay Guida.

Ben Rothwell beats Brandon Vera in the third via TKO.

Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch with a unanimous decision.

Gleison Tibau wins a split decision over Jamie Varner.

Tim Elliott beats Louis Gaudinot with a unanimous decision.

Hyun Gyu Lim defeats Pascal Krauss via first round TKO.

Chico Camus wins a unanimous decision over Kyung Ho Kang.

Soa Palelei defeats Nikita Krylov via TKO in the third round.

Al Iaquinta wins a unanimous decision over Ryan Couture.

Magnus Cedenblad defeats Jared Hamman via guillotine choke submission.

Video highlights of Barnett vs. Mir, Mendes vs. Guida and Poirier vs. Koch after the jump

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Non-Expert MMA Picks: UFC 164 Edition


(We had no idea what picture to use for this post, but this one seems to work nicely. Be sure to check out Meerkatsu’s shop for plenty of other awesome jiu-jitsu artwork.)

Are “the experts” really more knowledgeable than anyone else in terms of predicting who will win a fight? That’s debatable, to say the least. Today we’re bringing in Adam Touchet – a college football blogger and the most casual of casual MMA fans – to see how his predictions hold up against what will actually happen on Saturday night. Read on for his picks, follow him on Twitter, and check out more of his work at what is possibly the least pretentious college football blog on the Internet, BattleOfTheSun.com.

I’ve spent my tiny broadcasting and show-business career trying to prove that just because you’re on television with a microphone it doesn’t make you an expert. What makes a guy who doesn’t even play a sport an “expert” at it, and what makes the “predictions” of the broadcasters presenting a sporting event to the masses any more valid than its rabid fan base?

Spoiler Alert: Nothing.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II’ Edition


(The UFC 164 marketing strategy summed up in less than 30 seconds.)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, Zuffa brings us perhaps the most anticipated title rematch in lightweight history when Benson Henderson attempts to remove a stain from his soul against the man responsible for leaving said stain, new/interim #1 contender Anthony Pettis. The preliminary portion of the card may not boast many recognizable names (which is a nice way of saying it’s garbage-ass) but the PPV lineup is a veritable potpourri of grizzled veterans and surging prospects, with a little bit of something for everyone both new and old to MMA.

So come along as we head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and highlight the undercard bout you stand the best chance of banking on as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 164: Henderson vs Pettis II. All lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.

Undercard bout:

Soa Palelei (+175) vs. Nikita Krylov (-210)

The heavy-handed Australian comes in as the +180ish underdog against Ukrainian (is game to you?) submission specialist and -200 favorite Nikita Krylov. Palelei has a chance to payout early in this fight if he is able to use his striking effectively, but the 16 year age gap between the fighters may prove the difference if Krylov’s is able to sustain the early onslaught from Soa. With this in mind, Palelei has been submitted once in his career and 7 out of his last 8 wins (Well, 6 out of 8. Bob Sapp no longer counts.) have come in the first round. +180 for Palelei is an underdog worth taking.

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Today in TRT News: Rothwell Jumps on the Testosterone Train, Brazilian Commission Loses Its Only Accredited Testing Facility


(Doughy, smooth IFL Ben and lean, hairy UFC Ben. Man, that acai berry stuff really works wonders.)

Ben Rothwell has requested and received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for TRT at his upcoming UFC 164 bout in Milwaukee. So has former heavyweight champ Frank Mir, but he’s no stranger to the TRT TUE game.

MMA Junkie obtained the information from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services recently. According to Junkie, both fighters were not available for comment but Rothwell’s opponent Brandon Vera was.

“The Truth” was not amused. “It won’t help,” he said of Rothwell’s TRT use.

In a related story, legendary fighters and noted TRT users Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will indeed fight as we gave you a heads up about the other day; the match will be held at 205 pounds and it appears that neither fighter will face many obstacles in using TRT to their hearts’ content. Belfort has tested positive for a banned substance before, prompting the chief executive of the world’s most important athletic commission, the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s Keith Kizer, to opine that he didn’t think Vitor would ever be likely to receive a TUE for TRT in the state.

As states like Nevada and New Jersey go, so usually do the rest of the United States. Belfort has fought three out of his last four fights in Brazil with the other taking place in Canada. But hey, Brazil has a regulatory commission, right? They surely do: The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA).

The doctor who serves as medical director for that commission, Marcio Tannure, recently told MMAFighting.com that “Henderson needs to send him the exams to prove his medical conditions (hypogonadism) to apply for a TRT use, and they will analyze the request,” and that Belfort has blood tested before and after fights to ensure that “his levels are good.” Usually, fighters with TUEs for TRT still have to maintain “normal” testosterone levels.

In the Southern hemisphere, the national Brazilian star Belfort is the one in good standing, his prior failed drug test not being a deterrent to CABMMA in granting him a TUE whereas Henderson, who is allowed his TUE in the states, is the one who appears to face more of a hurdle. Coincidence, I’m sure.

However, don’t expect either Belfort or Henderson to be denied TUEs for TRT because, well, CABMMA’s drug testing isn’t considered to be quite as legitimate by international standards any more. BloodyElbow has the info:

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Booking Alert: Brandon Vera Returning to Heavyweight, Will Face Ben Rothwell at UFC 164


(Look on the bright side — things can’t get much worse for him, right?)

Though we know him best these days as a light-heavyweight can-crusher with only a single victory to his credit in the last three years, Brandon Vera started his career as a devastating force at heavyweight, racking up an 8-0 record including four nasty stoppages in the UFC. But after back-to-back losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum, Vera decided to cut some weight and drop to the 205-pound division in 2008. It hasn’t exactly gone well. For every win over low-level talent like Reese Andy, Mike Patt, and Eliot Marshall, he’s eaten losses against superstars like Jon Jones, Randy Couture, and (most recentlyMauricio Rua.

Now, it looks like Brandon Vera is looking to bring back his old self. MMAJunkie reports that Vera is heading back to heavyweight for a meeting with Ben Rothwell at UFC 164, August 31st at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Rothwell has compiled a 2-3 record during his time in the Octagon, and last competed in January when he was choked out by Gabriel Gonzaga. Though neither fighter is riding a long losing streak, their lack of consistent success in the UFC makes this one a must-win fight for both men. Can “The Truth” re-energize his career at his original weight class, or will Rothwell be stealin’ that soul?

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