It has been almost three years since we last saw “Big” Ben Rothwell compete in the octagon. Due to a USADA suspension, following his loss to Junior dos Santos, Rothwell has been unable to compete. However he is set to face Blagoy Ivanov Saturday night, in Wichita KS.
Rothwell has been fairly silent since his suspension, inactive on social media, and not participating in media. That streak was broken when MMA Junkie did a pre-fight interview with Rothwell, prior to his bout this weekend. However, to the surprise of few, it was a bit of an odd exchange.
Rothwell was very guarded, obviously not thrilled to be doing the interview. When asked how it felt to be back, he said “I just don’t have much to say. People ask for predictions; I have no predictions. They ask for my feelings; I have no feelings.” He felt no desire to discuss his USADA issues, saying “Everything and anything to deal with my past is something that will be discussed, but not at this time.”
Although Rothwell is no stranger to being a little odd in interviews, it was interesting to see this subdued version of “Big” Ben. His intense demeanor is intriguing, and his no nonsense attitude for his bout this weekend differs far from the one we have seen in interviews past.
We will have to wait to hear his side of the story of his ordeal with USADA. In the meantime, “Big” Ben Rothwell takes on Blagoy Ivanov this Saturday on ESPN+.