Ben Rothwell is beginning a new phase in his fight career.
For years, Ben Rothwell was synonymous with the UFC. He came to the promotion in 2009 and was a staple in the heavyweight division for a long time. After a long tenure with the UFC, Rothwell decided to leave earlier this year and try his hand at a new kind of combat sport, bare-knuckle boxing.
Over the past few years, the sport of bare-knuckle boxing has grown in popularity. The nature of men and women fighting without protective hand wrappings and gloves gives the aura of primal combat. Bare Knuckle FC (BKFC) is the most popular promotion in the sport and has signed a number of former UFC fighters to the roster since 2018. Among the biggest signings is Rothwell, who has faced off against some of the best fighters to ever grace the UFC Octagon. Rothwell left the UFC back in March and made his BKFC debut this past weekend. He spoke about the experience and how he felt in a new organization while a guest on The MMA Hour.
“I came in with a huge chip on my shoulder. I had my last fight on my mind. Bobo’s manager actually took it upon himself to post that fight and said, ‘Oh, I see this is how the fights gonna go’. And that made me pretty upset and I took a personal, so I came out, and it was time. I’ve been holding back for so long. I really feel that way. And I just came out and I said I didn’t care how long it was, I was going to keep throwing like that until that fight ended. I don’t care if it was a minute of me throwing like that, five rounds me throwing. I was prepared to go like that. And yeah, it was five seconds.”
Rothwell and the fans saw a glimpse of his old self during his BKFC debut
Rothwell ended the night of his opponent Bobo O’Bannon in just five seconds of the first round with a huge knockout. Fans of Rothwell saw a glimpse of the old fighter he used to be back in his early UFC days. He walked in wearing his “cloak” that he used to wear before the UFC implemented a uniform policy and looked just as dangerous as ever. He spoke about the feelings he had walking into the fight on Oct. 1 in Monroe, Louisiana.
“The cloak was on and the switch was flipped,” he explained. “And I got to be that person, that you guys, the one that you like to see. I said I have like a split personality. It’s true. And you’ve seen the difference. You could see it, the aggression and that’s a dangerous person to have in that ring so, yeah, that was a big deal for me, it was awesome. And for me, it was like a lot of kinks. You know, it was kind of reminiscent to that old 2015 fight you know, kind of doing the same thing. But it was like a restart for me now I got I’m excited about going forward and doing a lot more that’s for sure.”
Rothwell is now 1-0 in BKFC and could be on his way to fight for the title next. He is one of the biggest names in the organization and with a win as quick as his debut was, should be ready to challenge the top dogs in the promotion.