Rothwell was scheduled to fight Miocic at UFC Fight Night 76 on October 24th, but the latter recently went down with an injury. Since the promotion wasn’t able to find a late replacement, Rothwell was also pulled from the Dublin card.
Recently Rothwell appeared on MMA Junkie.com Radio, and the noted finisher relayed the following (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“Beating Stipe, I still know I’m questionable as the No. 1 contender, and how am I going to convince everybody? I have to beat Junior Dos Santos,” Rothwell said. “That was the message. It would probably make it happen.”
“I already put my name out there and said if somebody falls out in the (Alistair) Overeem or Dos Santos fight, I’ll be there,” Rothwell said, while referring to the fact JDS is booked to fight Overeem on December 19th. “I don’t wish anything bad to happen, but I really want to fight Junior Dos Santos…”
It’s a smart play by Rothwell, and it’s one that should also be commended. After all, Rothwell has won three straight fights and is sitting in the #7 ranking at heavyweight. So, defeating the #2 positioned JDS would leave him knocking on the title shot door as he noted.
Of course, if JDS gets injured, chances are the UFC won’t tap Rothwell to fight Overeem. The two squared off last September and Rothwell took Overeem out in the opening round.
UFC on FOX 17 will take place in Orlando, Florida, and in the main event, lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos will face Donald Cerrone.