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Ben Rothwell gets opponent for BKFC debut, meets Bobo O’Bannon

‘Big Ben’ is set for his bare-knuckle boxing debut on October 1st in Monroe, LA at BKFC 30.

Ben Rothwell ahead of UFC Vegas 42 in November.
Ben Rothwell ahead of UFC Vegas 42 in November.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

‘Big’ Ben Rothwell is set to ‘Toe the Line’ for the first time since signing with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).

Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting reports Rothwell debuts against Bobo O’Bannon at BKFC 30, the upcoming event scheduled for Oct. 1 at Fant Ewing Coliseum in Louisiana.

The former UFC heavyweight requested his release from the promotion to pursue other opportunities in combat sports, which led him to bare-knuckle boxing. Rothwell went 9-8 throughout his UFC tenure. He suffered a first-round TKO loss to Marcos Rogério de Lima at UFC Vegas 42 this past November in his final appearance in the Octagon.

Though he received offers from several promotions, Rothwell told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that BKFC had the best one.

“BKFC came with the best offer, made me very excited,” said Rothwell. “I believe that it’s a place for me because I was doing BKFC long before MMA. 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.”

BKFC president David Feldman also expressed his excitement in signing Rothwell, who he said is ‘exactly what BKFC is all about’.

O’Bannon is a BKFC veteran, going 3-3 in the promotion. The ‘Bible Belt Brawler’ was previously on a two-fight win streak before being finished by Alan Belcher at BKFC Jackson in January.

BKFC 30 is set to be headlined by a cruiserweight championship fight between Lorenzo Hunt and Quentin Henry.