It’s been a tough week for Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Ben Rothwell.
The Wisconsin native was scheduled to face another top-ten ranked heavy in Stipe Miocic tomorrow at UFC Fight Night in Dublin. Unfortunately, as we described here at Caged Insider, Miocic was forced to pull out due to injury and the bout was cancelled.
Then, rather than reschedule the Rothwell/Miocic match-up, the promotion revealed that Miocic will face another opponent, Andrei Arlovski, in January 2016 instead. This left Rothwell without a bout, or any hopes for one.
“I’m disheartened,” Rothwell told MMAjunkie in an interview published yesterday. “I just found out Andrei Arlovski’s been matched against Stipe Miocic. I’ve been wanting a fight with Andrei and I feel like there was a lot of good vibes and traction. People wanted to see the fight, because two weeks ago Stipe pulled out of the fight. Here I am, I’m in Ireland, I’m here to fight. I’m ready to go. Somehow the guy who got injured and pulled out of this fight gets the fight I’ve been asking for.”
Rothwell described the news as leaving him “blindsided.”
“This is all being announced, and the (original) fight hasn’t even happened,” Rothwell said. “It’s absurd.”
Rothwell hopes to schedule an opponent early in the new year, but with much of the division already matched up (and another contender in Josh Barnett taking leave to pursue an acting career) it’s unclear. He has won three straight in the UFC, dating to August 2013. His most recent win, a first round submission over Matt Mitrione back in June, lifted his MMA record to 35-9.