Rothwell at the UFC 115 weigh-ins
|Born||October 17, 1981|
Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
|Other names||Big Ben|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||265 lb (120 kg; 18 st 13 lb)|
|Reach||in (199 cm) |
|Style||Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Fighting out of||Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States|
Miletich Fighting Systems (formerly)
|Trainer||Thiago Veiga and Luiz Claudio|
|Rank||Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Years active||2001-present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|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 also competed 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 parents own a catering company. He is of Norwegian and Irish descent. 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, he began learning self-defense. In July of that same year, after he had been in three professional fights, he and a friend were involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. Rothwell's friend, who was 19 years old, died two weeks later, and Rothwell suffered a significant head injury, in addition to broken ribs. The event changed Rothwell's life, causing him to feel as though he has a purpose to complete.
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 won his next three fights, all under two minutes into the first round and all with 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 fight 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.
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 exchange strikes with Rothwell, and landed a left uppercut and held his own until he was knocked down by a short left hook from Rothwell, who then slammed Soszynski to the canvas. After working from side control and then standing again, 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 his downed opponent. Despite the round ending, referee Dan Miragliotta called a stop to the contest, granting Rothwell the win via TKO.
His next fight was 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 submit.
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 New York Pitbulls. This was Rothwell's last appearance in the IFL, as he eventually left 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 three years.
Rothwell made his UFC debut on October 24, 2009, at UFC 104 against undefeated Cain Velasquez losing via TKO one minute into round two. The stoppage was controversial, 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. After the fight, UFC president Dana White stated that Mazzagatti was the "worst referee in the history of combat sports".
Rothwell was expected to face Mirko Filipovi? 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 (30-27, 29-28, and 29-28). Rothwell tore his ACL during his first takedown attempt, which required post-fight surgery. 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 landed a counter left hook in an exchange against the fence that knocked Schaub down before following up with strikes on the ground, causing referee Herb Dean to call for 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. The UFC suspended Rothwell for nine months, despite the Wisconsin commission only issuing him with an administrative warning.
Rothwell was briefly linked to a bout with Ruslan Magomedov for on August 30, 2014, at UFC 177. However, on July 9, the UFC announced he would face Alistair Overeem on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50. Rothwell won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Rothwell his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Rothwell was expected to face Stipe Miocic on October 24, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 76. However, Miocic pulled out of the fight on October 13 citing injury. Subsequently, Rothwell was removed from the card the following day after the promotion deemed that a suitable opponent could not be arranged on short notice.
Rothwell next faced Josh Barnett on January 30, 2016, at UFC on Fox 18. He won the fight in the second round due to a guillotine choke, making Rothwell the only fighter to ever stop Barnett with a submission hold during Barnett's lengthy MMA career. The win also earned Rothwell his second Performance of the Night bonus award.
Rothwell was expected to face Fabrício Werdum on September 10, 2016, at UFC 203. However, Rothwell pulled out of the fight on August 11 citing a knee injury and was replaced by Travis Browne.
The bout with Werdum was rescheduled and expected to take place on May 13, 2017, at UFC 211. However, the bout was canceled due to Rothwell failing a drug test. On April 6, 2018, it was announced Rothwell had accepted a two year suspension from USADA, retroactive to February 6, 2017.
Rothwell faced Stefan Struve on December 7, 2019 at UFC on ESPN 7. He won the fight via technical knockout in round two. The finish was controversial as Rothwell had accidentally hit Struve in the groin twice and was docked one point for these infractions in the second round. The referee encouraged the compromised Struve to continue, resulting in a finish for Rothwell late in the second round.
Rothwell attended Waukesha County Technical College where he earned a technical degree in collision repair. Aside from working in his parents' restaurant, he worked in a body shop and as a labor union construction worker in Chicago, Illinois. Rothwell is married and has a daughter. Currently, Rothwell and his wife own Rothwell Mixed Martial Arts in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 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 an 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.
|Professional record breakdown|
|49 matches||37 wins||12 losses|
|Win||37-12||Stefan Struve||TKO (punches)||UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Rozenstruik||December 7, 2019||2||4:57||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Loss||36-12||Andrei Arlovski||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on ESPN: dos Anjos vs. Edwards||July 20, 2019||3||5:00||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Loss||36-11||Blagoy Ivanov||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. dos Santos||March 9, 2019||3||5:00||Wichita, Kansas, United States|
|Loss||36-10||Junior dos Santos||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos||April 10, 2016||5||5:00||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Win||36-9||Josh Barnett||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Bader||January 30, 2016||2||3:48||Newark, New Jersey, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||35-9||Matt Mitrione||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson||June 6, 2015||1||1:54||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
|Win||34-9||Alistair Overeem||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi||September 5, 2014||1||2:19||Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||33-9||Brandon Vera||TKO (punches)||UFC 164||August 31, 2013||3||1:54||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States||Rothwell suspended after testing 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 Soszy?ski||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 Soszy?ski||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||N/A||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||1||2:57||Des Moines, Iowa, United States|
|Loss||14-4||Carlos Barreto||KO (head kick)||Heat FC 1: Genesis||July 31, 2003||1||N/A||Natal, Brazil|
|Win||14-3||Royce Louck||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Freestyle Combat Challenge 11||June 28, 2003||1||N/A||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||1||5:00||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 the 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||N/A||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||Billy Herrington||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|