Ben Rothwell left a resounding thud inside the Octagon this past Friday night when he stormed through Alistair Overeem, finishing the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion in the first round.
While the win was a huge one for Rothwell, the fight in general did not sit very well with him.
Appearing on Submission Radio, Rothwell discussed the “dirty moves” Overeem was trying to use to his advantage in the bout.
“I almost yelled at him in the fight. He was doing some real dirty push kicks to my knee, and it’s just a dirty move,” Rothwell said. “It’s not honorable in my mind because this isn’t street fighting. Like street fighting, if you’re fighting in the street, I’m undefeated. And I will remain so, and if I’m not, it means I’m dead.
“If you want to fight like that, then I’m going to start. I’m gonna rip his eyes out, I’m gonna pull his jugular out with my teeth, and I’m gonna break things on him. I’m gonna start snapping fingers and it’ll be a lot worse on him. And throwing push kicks at the knee joint is kinda like, to me it’s the same dirty message. It’s like you don’t do that, and I almost said something to him during the fight like ‘Really?’ like ‘You’re gonna play like that?’ and I luckily ended him before he got to do it anymore.”
The 32-year-old Rothwell (34-9) earned his second straight win and third in his last four fights overall. He is 4-3 overall since joining the UFC in 2009 with a TKO loss to current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. That defeat remains on the mind of the Wisconsin fighter, who would make sure he did many things differently this time around.
“I’m just a completely different fighter than I was then, and he’s improved as well, that’s obvious. What I would do different, it’s already done,” he said. “I already am different, and what I’m gonna do is, you’re just going to have to tune in and watch when that fight happens. I’m gonna shock the world, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
As for who might be next, Rothwell wouldn’t mind taking on a former champion in Junior dos Santos and is ready to sign on the dotted line if the UFC wants to put it together.
“I don’t care where rankings are. It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest and I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait, and I don’t know if Junior Dos Santos is already matched up but he hasn’t fought since he lost to Cain Velasquez, so he’s probably, maybe set up to fight somebody else, but that’s a fight that I’m the most interested in,” he said. “I really thought about it the last couple of days and I thought about different opponents.
“I really don’t want to fight anybody else but him, and he’s still ranked No. 2 and he’s the one that I think will make me the number one contender. So you know, it’s going to be the exact same fight as the last one. Everyone’s going to doubt me, make me a 5-1 underdog. Great. Thank you. Let’s do it. Let’s set the fight up. I’ll sign the contract. let’s do this”