This past Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 68, in the co-main event “Big” Ben Rothwell (35-9) absolutely dismantled former NFL football player Matt Mitrione (9-4) by way of front choke in just under two minutes. The win for Rothwell was his 3rd in a row as well as his 3rd straight finish in a row.
Anytime somebody in such a slim division as Ben is in, gets that kind of momentum they always feel the need to add a whisper into UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s ear. Rothwell made it known that he wants to take on another man on a comeback trail and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion in Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (24-10-1).
“I know the championship is next weekend,” said Rothwell, referring to June 13’s UFC 188, which features a heavyweight title unification bout between undisputed champ Cain Velasquez and interim champ Fabricio Werdum. “I think Stipe (Miocic) has built up a good case; I think he should have the next challenge, and I think Andrei Arlovski and I should dance.
“(Arlovski is) ranked fourth, and some people are already talking about him getting the next title shot, so I think him and I should fight next. I know he’s got a little bit of an injury, so he’s going to take some time off. I’ll be ready for him when he heals.”
Rothwell took on Arlovski in a match under the Affliction promotion. Andrei took that contest via third round TKO. Since returning to the UFC Arlovski is 3-0 and has won 7 of his last 8 bouts. Both men are in the thick of a late career title run and seem prime for a rematch. Although Rothwell feels he’s always being overlooked.
“I think a lot of it comes from the writers in MMA,” he said. “Constantly, I just feel like I’m overlooked and I’m not getting any respect. Again, I was an underdog tonight. On the writer’s column, everybody picked Mitrione. I’m kind of getting used it. I like it. Keep making me the underdog. I like putting loss on your guys’ picks there. My performances have slowed me down in the past,” he said. “Now, I think I’ve made a case for myself. Three fight win streak, three finishes, and I think it’s time we make something happen. Let me fight these top guys.”