The UFC have announced that long-time heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem will meet Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50 in Connecticut. It was recently speculated that the UFC were matching up Ben Rothwell with Ruslan Magomedov, though these reports proved false, with UFC Tonight confirming that Rothwell will return from his nine-month suspension against Alistair Overeem.
After winning his UFC debut, Overeem had a rough 2012 and 2013, which included losing a shot at the title, two consecutive TKO losses, failing a drug test and suffering injury setbacks. After facing a lot of adversity, with his back against the wall and doubters aplenty, Overeem defeated former UFC champion Frank Mir in February via decision to put himself back in the mix in the heavyweight division.
Life after TRT had been rough for Overeem, though he came into the fight with Mir in better shape than previous fights and took a more patient and calculated approach. Though the England-born heavyweight did not get the finish that would have been the icing on the cake, he showed that he has learned from the mistakes which resulted in losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne. In both of the aforementioned fights, Overeem suffered from lack of cardio which led to his guard being down and becoming vulnerable to strikes.
Now rejuvenated and with new tools in his arsenal, Alistair Overeem will look to get his third Octagon victory against heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell.
A former Affliction and IFL competitor, Rothwell has been inconsistent since joining the UFC in 2009, only managing to win three in his first six. After defeating Brandon Vera in his last bout, ‘Big’ Ben tested positive for elevated testosterone levels and was subsequently banned for nine months. The 32 year-old will face Overeem in his next bout, which marks his first fight since the abolishing of TRT by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
UFC Fight Night 50 is headlined by the rematch between Jacare Souza and Gegard Mousasi in a five round middleweight bout, and Overeem vs. Rothwell is expected to join them on the main card. It will be held at the Foxwoods Revel Casino in Ledyard, CT on September 5.