A heavyweight tilt between Ben Rothwell and Russian prospect Ruslan Magomedov is in talks for UFC 177, according to MMABoxing.ru. Rothwell is currently on the sidelines after failing a drug test which resulted in a one-year suspension and his win over Brandon Vera being overturned. MMAjunkie confirmed with a source close to the matter that the UFC 177 has not been confirmed for the match-up, though the UFC are working on booking the two heavyweights to square off in the future.
Ben Rothwell has had an inconsistent stint inside the Octagon, alternating wins and losses since his debut in October 2009. Going 3-3 since signing with the promotion, Rothwell’s notable wins over Brandon Vera, Brendan Schaub and Gilbert Yvel have shown that the 32 year-old is capable of big things, but he has also suffered setbacks against the top guys in the division.
A former TRT user, Ben Rothwell is set to fight for the first time since the abolishing of TRTs by the NSAC. Rothwell hasn’t suffered a loss to a fighter outside of the top 15 in over 9 years, which shows why many feel he still has a lot in his locker at the age of 32. Can Rothwell get his first two fight winning streak since 2007, or will he fall to a fighter ranked outside the top 15 for the first time since 2004?
Rustam Magomedov is a name that MMA fans will get more familiar with should he emulate the success he has shown in promotions outside of the UFC. With wins over former UFC champions Tim Sylvia and Ricco Rodriguez as well as respected heavyweight Mike Hayes, Magomedov was victorious in his first Octagon outing against Viktor Pesta in May.
Though ‘Leopard’ has won five of his last six via decision, at just 27 he is seen as one of the rising stars in a division lacking in future prospects. Should Magomedov get past a tough veteran in Ben Rothwell, he may be fast tracked to a UFC title shot with a few more wins.
UFC 177 is headlined by the rematch between UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and former champ Renan Barao, and will be held at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA on August 30.