Ben Rothwell

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For the American Olympic boxer, see Ben Rothwell (boxer).
Ben Rothwell
Born (1981-10-17) October 17, 1981 (age 33)
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Other names Big Ben
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 262 lb (119 kg; 18 st 10 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 80 in (203 cm)
Fighting out of Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Team Rothwell MMA
Miletich Fighting Systems (formerly)
Trainer Thiago Veiga and Luiz Claudio
Rank Purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Years active 2001–present
Kickboxing record
Total 3
Wins 3
Losses 0
Mixed martial arts record
Total 43
Wins 34
By knockout 20
By submission 11
By decision 3
Losses 9
By knockout 4
By submission 2
By decision 3
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: March 8, 2010

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. As of February 19, 2015, he is #10 in official UFC heavyweight rankings.[1]


Rothwell is from Kenosha, Wisconsin and both of his parents work in the restaurant business. His parents, Dan and Vicki, own a catering company. 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.[2]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Rothwell began his training in September 1999, before joining Miletich Fighting Systems in 2002.

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. Rothwell 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 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[edit]

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.

After racking up four more consecutive IFL wins he fought future The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights winner and IFL Heavyweight Champion Roy Nelson, winning via split decision.

His next fight would be a rematch from almost five years earlier against veteran Travis Fulton, owner of 195 career victories. Three 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.[3]


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 three years.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Rothwell made his UFC debut on October 24, 2009 at UFC 104 against undefeated Cain Velasquez losing via TKO a minute into round two. 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.[4]

Rothwell was expected to face Mirko Filipović on February 21, 2010 at UFC 110.[5] However, Rothwell had to withdraw from the event, just days prior, due to an illness and was replaced by Anthony Perosh.[6]

Rothwell then fought Gilbert Yvel on June 15, 2010 at UFC 115 where he won by unanimous decision [7] During the first takedown Rothwell attempted he tore his ACL, following the fight Rothwell had surgery on it.[8] Rothwell also suffered a deviated septum from a head kick during the first round.[9]

After an extended layoff, Rothwell fought Mark Hunt on September 24, 2011 at UFC 135.[10] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

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 rocked Rothwell with a strike and Schaub came in to finish Rothwell but then Rothwell landed a counter 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 was expected to face Travis Browne at UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera, but Rothwell pulled out due to an injury [11]

Rothwell faced Gabriel Gonzaga on January 19, 2013 at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping[12] He lost the fight via submission in the second round.

Rothwell faced Brandon Vera at UFC 164 on August 31, 2013.[13] He won the fight via TKO by punches in round three. [14] Subsequent to the bout, Rothwell tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. The UFC suspended Rothwell for nine months, despite the Wisconsin commission only issuing him with an administrative warning.[15]

Rothwell was briefly linked to a bout with Ruslan Magomedov for on August 30, 2014 at UFC 177.[16] However, on July 9, the UFC announced he would face Alistair Overeem on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50.[17] Rothwell won the fight via TKO in the first round.[18] The win also earned Rothwell his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[19]

Rothwell is expected to face Matt Mitrione on June 6, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 68.[20]

Personal life[edit]

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. [21] Rothwell is married and has a daughter. Currently, Ben and his wife own Rothwell Mixed Martial Arts in Kenosha, WI. Rothwell MMA, established in 2011, teaches MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Self-Defense, Yoga, and Fitness to children and adults of all ages and experience levels. Rothwell is also the head coach for a MMA Competition Team of 30 amateur and professional MMA fighters. They often compete as a team at Wisconsin Xtreme Cage Fighting (WXCF) events at Racine Memorial Hall.

Championships and Accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • United States Mixed Martial Arts
    • USMMA Heavyweight Championship (One time; First)[22]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 34–9 Alistair Overeem TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi September 5, 2014 1 2:19 Ledyard, Connecticut, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 33–9 Brandon Vera TKO (punches and knees) UFC 164 August 31, 2013 3 1:54 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States Rothwell tested positive for elevated testosterone levels.
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 Knockout of the Night.
Loss 31–8 Mark Hunt Decision (unanimous) UFC 135 September 24, 2011 3 5:00 Denver, Colorado, United States
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 (americana) 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 (doctor stoppage) 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.
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 (doctor stoppage) USMMA 2: Ring of Fury September 21, 2002 1 1:14 Lowell, Massachusetts, United States Won USMMA Heavyweight Championship
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 (doctor stoppage) 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
Win 6–1 Mike Marshalleck TKO (punches) 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

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest       Notes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  2. ^ Guida, Bill MMA fighter’s new venture emphasizes discipline, self-improvement. Kenosha News
  3. ^ Ben Rothwell MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography.
  4. ^ UFC 104 Results and Live Play-by-Play. (October 25, 2009). Retrieved on January 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "Ben Rothwell and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic likely to meet at UFC 110". Archived from the original on November 8, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  6. ^ UFC 110: Anthony Perosh Replaces Ben Rothwell Versus Mirko Cro Cop. (February 19, 2010). Retrieved on January 3, 2014.
  7. ^ The Official Website of the Ultimate Fighting Championship®. UFC (December 30, 2013). Retrieved on January 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Brady, Cory. (July 30, 2010) Ben Rothwell out nine months with torn ACL. Five Ounces of Pain. Retrieved on January 3, 2014.
  9. ^ UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell Out For 9 Months Due To ACL Tear. July 30, 2010.
  10. ^ "Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt Projected for UFC 135". Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  11. ^ "UFC 145; seven bouts shift to Atlanta". January 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ Erickson, Matt (November 2, 2012). "Heavyweights Ben Rothwell, Gabriel Gonzaga targeted for Jan. 19 UFC card in Brazil". Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ Marrocco, Steven (May 14, 2013). "Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera heavyweight bout targeted for UFC 164 in Milwaukee". Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ Marrocco, Steven (October 3, 2013). "UFC trumps Wisconsin, suspends Ben Rothwell for elevated testosterone". Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  15. ^ Marrocco, Steven (October 3, 2013). "UFC trumps Wisconsin, suspends Ben Rothwell for elevated testosterone". Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  16. ^ Radik Khuzin (2014-07-06). "Magomedov vs Rothwell added to UFC 177 in Sacramento". / Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  17. ^ "Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell Added to UFC Fight Night in Connecticut". 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  18. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-09-05). "UFC Fight Night 50 results: Ben Rothwell shocks Alistair Overeem in opening round". Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  19. ^ "UUFC Fight Night 50 bonuses: Lauzon, Chiesa, Souza and Rothwell win $50,000". September 6, 2014. 
  20. ^ Tom Ngo (2015-02-27). "Mitrione vs. Rothwell, Henderson vs. Boetsch added to UFC Fight Night 68". Retrieved 2015-02-27. 
  21. ^ "Warrior at heart". August 2, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  22. ^ ttp://

External links[edit]