Who saw this coming? Even with Ben Rothwell edging out Josh Barnett in the overall rankings (7 to 8), Josh Barnett has somehow been getting better with age. He’s been on a tear, and looked phenomenal against Roy Nelson. Frankly, he looked great against the suddenly hyper-relevant Ben Rothwell for the first seven or so minutes of this heavyweight battle on UFC on FOX.
But all it takes is one slip up from anyone and it can spell the end for a heavyweight. But who would’ve expected that Ben Rothwell, originally a 19-year-old kid fighting with Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver and current welterweight champ Robbie Lawler in Pat Miletich’s Iowa gym would be eyeing UFC gold in 2016?
Even more shocking – Ben Rothwell is the first man to ever submit the master Josh Barnett in his 19+ years of fighting. And with a front headlock/guillotine choke? When Ben Rothwell gets his hands on you, there is pain:
Now Barnett falls further from reclaiming the UFC heavyweight title, and Rothwell has the second-longest active heavyweight winning streak. I’m thinking Werdum/Miocic for the title, Cain Velasquez vs Ben Rothwell for the number one contender. Cain has lost his privilege of constant automatic rematches until he can stay healthy.