In late March, the UFC parted ways with longtime veteran Ben Rothwell after 13 years. It happened before “Big Ben’s” scheduled fight with former two-time title contender Alexander Gustafsson in May.
For a while there, it looked like prizefighting was over for the 40-year-old Rothwell, until Monday when he announced his recent signing with Bare Knuckle FC.
“I believe that it’s a place for me because I was doing BKFC long before MMA,” Rothwell said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “So it’s something I’m a part of in my life, something my great grandfather was doing, probably not legally, but had a history of it.
“It’s just kinda something in my blood and I’m really excited to be with them.”
From their end, BKFC’s top brass is more than happy to welcome Rothwell into its roster. For organization president David Feldman, the former UFC heavyweight staple would be a perfect addition to their brand.
“We knew that he was going to become available in the next fight after that, so that fight never happened and he became available – it was a perfect time to grab him,” Feldman told MMA Junkie. “He’s a guy that displays everything we need with bare-knuckle and he wants to stand there and bang.
“He’s a good grappler as well, but he likes to fight. He’s got heavy hands and he’s exactly what we want. He’s either a guy that’s going to knock someone out or get knocked out and that’s exactly what BKFC is all about.”
Rothwell (39-14) last saw action in November 2021 against Brazil’s Marcos Rogério de Lima. He lost via TKO inside 32 seconds of action. Prior to that bout, he defeated rising prospect Chris Barnett via second-round submission.