After spending the last five years with limited success in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, Brandon “The Truth” Vera will return to the weight class where he began his career. The man tasked with welcoming him back to heavyweight is Ben Rothwell.
MMAjunkie.com reported the heavyweight pairing today, after speaking with sources close to the event. The fight is expected to be part of UFC 164 in Milwaukee, WI on August 31 at The Bradley Center. Given the recent string of inconsistent performances from both, this bout could very well be one man’s last fight in the Octagon.
An Alliance MMA representative sporting an 8-6-1 UFC record, Vera last saw action 12 months ago at UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera, when he battled former light-heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. After a war worthy of “Fight of the Night” honors, the gutsy Californian succumbed to a TKO late in the fourth round of a five round title eliminator. In the loss, Vera showed signs of “The Truth” of old and stifled the Brazilian with an impressive offensive attack. If he carries that performance into Milwaukee, it could prove to be a nightmare for the man standing across the cage from him.
His UFC 164 opponent, Ben Rothwell, was also finished in his last contest in January, at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping. The Wisconsin-born heavyweight submitted to Gabriel Gonzaga by guillotine in the second round. Known for his gritty striking style, he has also been responsible for displaying impressive offensive output, as evidenced in his “Knockout of the Night” performance against Brendan Schaub at UFC 145. Since joining the UFC in 2009, he has traded wins and losses, compiling a 2-3 record.
UFC 164, which features the return of heavyweight Alistair Overeem, goes down August 31 in Milwaukee. The card is yet to be finalized so no word on where the Vera-Rothwell matchup will fall in the evening’s lineup but it’s certainly worthy for consideration somewhere on the main card.
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