October 17, 1981 |
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Other names||Big Ben|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||262 lb (119 kg; 18 st 10 lb)|
|Reach||80 in (203 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Kenosha, Wisconsin|
|Team||Rothwell MMA, Miletich Fighting Systems (formerly)|
|Trainer||Thiago Veiga & Luiz Claudio|
|Rank||Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Ben Rothwell (born October 17, 1981) is an American mixed martial artist who competes as a Heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is perhaps best known for competing for the Quad Cities Silverbacks of the IFL where he held an undefeated 9-0 record before leaving the promotion due to a contract dispute. He has also had one-fight stints in Affliction, M-1 Global, and King of the Cage.
Rothwell is from Kenosha, Wisconsin and both of his parents work in the restaurant business. His mother, Vicki, is a caterer who also owns and manages a historic restaurant along with his father, Dave. Rothwell was an active child but suffered a bout with spinal meningitis when he was six years old. He was in a coma and temporarily blind, while the disease made him almost obese. The young Rothwell, who struggled with his weight and identity in his adolescent years, was also troubled growing up, and was often involved in fighting and violence at Westosha Central High School. By the time he was a junior in high school, Rothwell knew that he enjoyed fighting and in 1999, at the age of 17 years old, Rothwell began learning self-defense. In July of that same year, after Rothwell had three professional fights under his belt, he and a friend were involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. Rothwell's friend, who was only 19 years old, died two weeks later and Rothwell himself also suffered a significant head injury, in addition to broken ribs. The event changed Rothwell's life, who now feels as though he has a real purpose to compete.
Mixed martial arts career
Rothwell began his training under Dave Strasser in Kenosha, Wisconsin and began training with kickboxing specialist Duke Roufus in September of 2003, before joining Miletich Fighting Systems the following spring.
Rothwell made his professional debut in early 2001 in his home-state of Wisconsin and dominated his opponent, winning by TKO only 21 seconds into the fight. He then continued to win his next three fights all under two minutes into the first round and all by strikes. He then faced future two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and fellow Miletich Fighting Systems fighter, Tim Sylvia. Rothwell was handed his first career loss in a unanimous decision. However, he bounced back and won his next seven fights, all by submission or TKO, before a unanimous decision loss to Mike Whitehead.
After defeating former King of the Cage Super Heavyweight Champion, Dan Bobish by knockout, Rothwell was soon invited to compete in the International Fight League to compete for the Quad City Silverbacks, coached by the legendary Pat Miletich. Like several other fighters in the promotion, Rothwell was competing for the coach who he trained with regularly.
International Fight League
On April 29, 2006 Rothwell made his IFL debut against future UFC veteran, the Polish-Canadian fighter, Krzysztof Soszynski. In the first round, Soszynski surprisingly decided to fight with Rothwell on the feet, and landed a left uppercut and held his own until he was knocked down with short left hook from Rothwell, who then slammed Soszynski to the canvas. After working from side control and bringing the fight back to the feet, Rothwell landed a series of punches at the end of the round that knocked down Soszynski and then followed this up with more punches to the downed fighter. Despite the round ending, referee Dan Mirgliotta called a stop to the contest, granting Rothwell the win via TKO.
His next fight would be a rematch from almost 5 years earlier against veteran Travis Fulton, owner of 195 career victories. 3 minutes into the second round Rothwell secured a kimura causing Fulton to tap.
Rothwell then met Krzysztof Soszynski in a rematch of his IFL debut. Rothwell once again won via TKO, only 13 seconds into the bout.
His last fight in the IFL came against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ricco Rodriguez in the team finals. After controlling the fight and displaying superior striking, Rothwell won the fight via unanimous decision. However, the Silverbacks fell short of a victory and lost the championship to Renzo Gracie's Pitbulls. This would prove to be the last appearance Rothwell would have in the IFL, as he would eventually leave the organization due to a contract dispute.
During his time in the IFL, Rothwell had a 9-0 record.
After leaving the IFL, Rothwell joined Affliction where he appeared in only one bout against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, Rothwell lost the fight via knockout due to an uppercut in the final round. This ended Rothwell's 13 fight win streak and gave him his first defeat in over 3 years.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Rothwell made his UFC debut on October 24, 2009 at UFC 104 against undefeated Cain Velasquez losing via TKO a minute into round 2. The fight was shrouded in controversy because Rothwell seemed to be getting to his feet as Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight, Rothwell was visibly upset with Mazzagatti's decision to stop the fight at that moment.
Rothwell was expected to face Mirko Filipović on February 21, 2010 at UFC 110. However, Rothwell had to withdraw from the event, just days prior, due to an illness and was replaced by Anthony Perosh.
Rothwell then fought Gilbert Yvel on June 15, 2010 at UFC 115 where he won by unanimous decision  During the first takedown Rothwell attempted he tore his ACL, following the fight Rothwell had surgery on it. Rothwell also suffered a deviated septum from a head kick during the first round.
Rothwell then faced Brendan Schaub on April 21, 2012 at UFC 145. Rothwell came into the fight in very good physical shape, and looked the leanest that he had ever been up to that point in his career. After Schaub threw a spinning strike, Rothwell "played possum," pretending to be rocked with the strike while Schaub came in. Rothwell landed a left hook that knocked down Schaub before landing more punches to his downed opponent before referee Herb Dean called the stoppage. Although Schaub seemed to be unconscious, Rothwell was given a TKO victory. Rothwell also earned Knockout of the Night honors for his performance.
Rothwell faced Brandon Vera at UFC 164 on August 31, 2013. He won the fight via TKO by punches in round three. Subsequent to the bout, Rothwell tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. Due to Rothwell having applied for therapeutic usage exemption, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (WDSPS) only issued him a warning. The UFC, however, opted to suspend Rothwell for 9 months.
Rothwell is married to Jennifer DeBoer and has a daughter from a previous relationship and he also has a brother named Lon. Rothwell attended Waukesha County Technical College where he earned a technical degree in collision repair. Aside from working in his parent's restaurant, he used to work in a body shop and as a labor union construction worker in Chicago, Illinois. He is of Scandinavian descent, and is very proud of his heritage.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|42 matches||33 wins||9 losses|
|Win||33–9||Brandon Vera||TKO (punches)||UFC 164||August 31, 2013||3||1:54||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States||Rothwell tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.|
|Loss||32–9||Gabriel Gonzaga||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping||January 19, 2013||2||1:01||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||32–8||Brendan Schaub||KO (punches)||UFC 145||April 21, 2012||1||1:10||Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America||Knockout of the Night|
|Loss||31–8||Mark Hunt||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 135||September 24, 2011||3||5:00||Denver, Colorado, United States of America|
|Win||31–7||Gilbert Yvel||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 115||June 12, 2010||3||5:00||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Loss||30–7||Cain Velasquez||TKO (punches)||UFC 104||October 24, 2009||2||0:58||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||30–6||Chris Guillen||Submission (elbows)||Adrenaline MMA 2: Miletich vs. Denny||December 11, 2008||1||3:30||Moline, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||29–6||Andrei Arlovski||KO (punches)||Affliction: Banned||July 19, 2008||3||1:13||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Win||29–5||Ricco Rodriguez||Decision (unanimous)||IFL: 2007 Team Championship Final||September 20, 2007||3||4:00||Hollywood, Florida, United States|
|Win||28–5||Krzysztof Soszynski||TKO (punches)||IFL: 2007 Semifinals||August 2, 2007||1||0:13||East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||27–5||Travis Fulton||Submission (kimura)||IFL: Chicago||May 19, 2007||2||3:11||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||26–5||Roy Nelson||Decision (split)||IFL: Moline||April 7, 2007||3||4:00||Moline, Illinois, United States|
|Win||25–5||Matt Thompson||TKO (punches)||IFL: Houston||February 2, 2007||2||1:47||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||24–5||Devin Cole||KO (head kick)||IFL: Championship Final||December 29, 2006||1||3:16||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||23–5||Wojtek Kaszowski||Submission (keylock)||IFL: World Championship Semifinals||November 2, 2006||1||3:14||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Win||22–5||Bryan Vetell||KO (punch)||IFL: Gracie vs. Miletich||September 23, 2006||1||3:17||Moline, Illinois, United States|
|Win||21–5||Krzysztof Soszynski||TKO (punches)||IFL: Legends Championship 2006||April 29, 2006||1||3:59||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||20–5||Dan Bobish||KO (knee)||GFC: Team Gracie vs Team Hammer House||March 3, 2006||1||4:20||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Win||19–5||Joey Smith||Submission (punches)||ISCF: Gladiators X||February 24, 2006||1||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States|
|Win||18–5||Don Richard||TKO (punches)||KOTC: Conquest||December 3, 2005||1||3:32||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Win||17–5||Allan Weickert||TKO (punches)||GFS: Fight Nite in the Flats||September 17, 2005||1||3:45||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||16–5||Dan Christison||Submission (kimura)||Euphoria: USA vs World||February 26, 2005||3||0:57||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||16–4||Jonathan Wiezorek||TKO (punches)||Euphoria: Road to the Titles||October 15, 2004||1||1:09||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||15–4||Matt Bear||Submission (punches)||Ultimate Throwdown||July 16, 2004||N/A||Des Moines, Iowa, United States|
|Loss||14–4||Carlos Barreto||KO (head kick)||Heat FC 1: Genesis||July 31, 2003||N/A||Natal, Brazil|
|Win||14–3||Royce Louck||TKO (cut)||Freestyle Combat Challenge 11||June 28, 2003||1||Racine, Wisconsin, United States|
|Loss||13–3||Ibragim Magomedov||TKO (retirement)||M-1 MFC - Russia vs. the World 4||November 15, 2002||1||10:00||St. Petersburg, Russia||Scheduled for one 10-minute round. Rothwell refused offer for 2nd round.|
|Win||13–2||Travis Fulton||Submission (injury)||Freestyle Combat Challenge 8||October 4, 2002||N/A||Racine, Wisconsin, United States|
|Win||12–2||Johnathan Ivey||TKO (cut)||USMMA 2: Ring of Fury||September 21, 2002||1||1:14||Lowell, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||11–2||Mike Whitehead||Decision (unanimous)||SB 24: Return of the Heavyweights 2||April 27, 2002||2||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||11–1||Kerry Schall||TKO (neck injury)||SB 24: Return of the Heavyweights 2||April 27, 2002||2||2:10||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Schall fell out of the ring.|
|Win||10–1||Curtis Crawford||Submission (forearm choke)||SB 24: Return of the Heavyweights 1||April 26, 2002||1||1:03||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||9–1||Mike Priest||Submission (injury)||Freestyle Combat Challenge 7||March 23, 2002||1||Racine, Wisconsin, United States|
|Win||8–1||Mike Radnov||TKO (cut)||Extreme Challenge 46||February 16, 2002||1||5:54||Clive, Iowa, United States|
|Win||7–1||Kerry Schall||Submission (injury)||Extreme Challenge 46||February 16, 2002||1||7:29||Clive, Iowa, United States||Schall submitted due to broken foot.|
|Win||6–1||Mike Marshalleck||TKO||Freestyle Combat Challenge 6||January 5, 2002||1||0:38||Racine, Wisconsin, United States|
|Win||5–1||Steve Hutson||Submission (arm triangle choke)||SC 8: Fight Night||November 10, 2001||1||3:35||LaSalle, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||4–1||Tim Sylvia||Decision (unanimous)||Extreme Challenge 42||August 24, 2001||3||5:00||Davenport, Iowa, United States|
|Win||4–0||Bill Billington||Submission (knees)||Iowa Challenge 2||August 11, 2001||1||1:07||Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States|
|Win||3–0||Darren Block||KO (punch)||Dangerzone: Auburn||April 28, 2001||1||0:16||Auburn, Indiana, United States|
|Win||2–0||Anthony Ferguson||TKO (referee stoppage)||Dangerzone: Auburn||April 28, 2001||1||1:00||Auburn, Indiana, United States|
|Win||1–0||Rob Shinkle||TKO (corner stoppage)||Freestyle Combat Challenge 3||January 6, 2001||1||0:21||Racine, Wisconsin, United States|
3 wins, 0 losses
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
- "Ben Rothwell and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic likely to meet at UFC 110". mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- "Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt Projected for UFC 135". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "UFC 145; seven bouts shift to Atlanta". mmajunkie.com. January 20, 2012.
- Staff (2012-11-02). "Heavyweights Ben Rothwell, Gabriel Gonzaga targeted for Jan. 19 UFC card in Brazil". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
- Staff (2013-05-14). "Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera heavyweight bout targeted for UFC 164 in Milwaukee". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- Staff (2013-10-3). "UFC trumps Wisconsin, suspends Ben Rothwell for elevated testosterone". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-3.
- "Warrior at heart". JSONLINE.com. 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2010-09-05.