UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell had a bad run of luck in the weeks leading up to UFC Fight Night 76. Firstly his co-main event opponent Stipe Miocic was pulled from the Dublin card with an injury, and shortly after ‘Big Ben’ was scratched from the event too, without being offered a replacement fight. To make things worse, Miocic was then booked in to fight Andrei Arlovski at UFC 195, leaving Rothwell well and truly out in the cold.
During the lead up to UFC Dublin, one heavyweight did throw their name in the hat to replace the injured Croatian, and that was ‘Big Ben’s’ former opponent Matt Mitrione. Apparently there’s now some friction between the two, as Mitrione would later claim Rothwell refused a fight with him. You’ll remember Ben submitted ‘Meathead’ back in June. Talking with WhoaTV, Rothwell discussed the injury to Miocic, and also how pissed he was at ‘Meathead’. Check it out:
“The injury is nothing we can do anything about, what can the UFC do? They can’t stop a guy from getting hurt, it is what it is, it sucks. I came here, I was still happy and having a good time with the Irish fans, then the guy that I’m supposed to fight gets booked in another fight. I just don’t understand, I’ve never seen anything like this before. He and I were supposed to fight, the guy pulls out of the card and he’s already rebooked.”
“Andrei, I told him ‘I’m promoting you, I want to fight you,’ he told me it was his manager’s decision, they took the fight (with Stipe) and it is what it is. That’s how it goes I guess. I was pretty angry with him (Matt Mitrione) but he didn’t know that I wasn’t offered a fight, he’s fighting Travis Browne, the contract is signed now. It’s our job, he’s got to ask for a fight, but don’t attack my manhood and act like I don’t want to fight you. We already fought, I’ll fight you ten fucking times, I don’t care.”
Interestingly , a story just published on MMAJunkie.com features Stipe Miocic discussing what happened after he was injured getting out of his car. He says he felt his back go in to spasm, but perhaps more pertinent to this story is that he offered to fight Rothwell at UFC 195, or Arlovski as a second choice. The promotion, it seems, was more interested in ‘The Pitbull.’ On to the subject of Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez 2, Rothwell has his opinion:
“Cain and Werdum, I predicted Werdum was going to win. I think he may have Cain’s number, a lot of guys look more human to me now. Werdum is getting better each fight, and he may have Cain’s number. Elevation definitely had something to do with it, but you know Werdum went there two months before time. Poor preparation definitely affected him, but I hate saying that or discrediting guys. He was throwing and landing with great strikes and he hit a submission.”