At UFC on FOX 18 Saturday night, heavyweight Ben Rothwell became the first person to tap Josh Barnett in mixed martial arts. This rejuvenation in the career of Big Ben comes with colorful commentary.
“The bottom line is I think the belt is secondary, because my No. 1 priority is laying waste to this entire division,” he said to Steven Marrocco for MMAjunkie (autoplay). “Tonight, it wasn’t about dancing or laughing. It was about making a statement, and I made it tonight.”
“Some guys gotta run around the cage and have a temper tantrum; my performance tonight shouted everything I needed to say.”
“They don’t make decisions tonight. I’ll look at what the situation is. If they want to move things around and they’re ready put me in, I’ll crush Werdum and take his belt.”
“I did not like how my body felt, and the first round was more a warm up. I think the second round, I opened up and had better striking. I made a vow to the universe and to the world of martial arts, which is carrying me through this, that Monday, I’m going to go back and continue my training. I’m going to be ready for anything and everybody.”
Rothwell had previously been scheduled to fight Stipe Miocic, who pulled out with an injury, and eventually got a title shot when Cain Velasquez pulled out, and then lost that when champion Fabricio Werdum pulled out too. But Rothwell was not bitter, and instead praised his team, and the value in not focusing on yourself all the time.
Then he praised his wife, who he likened to “a unicorn, because I see a lot of guys, and they have that woman around them. I’ve watched women destroy champions. I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I have a woman who’s making me better every fight.”