UFC Fight Night: Alistair Overeem vs Ben Rothwell Preview


MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (37-13, 1 NC) is hails from Hounslow England but is fighting out of The Netherlands and brings power, athleticism and experienced striking to the octagon against Wisconsin native Ben Rothwell (33-9) who is well-rounded as a fighter and uses his size and speed to his advantage in his fights.

Overeem comes into the fight hoping to erase recent headlines, or at least give people something else to talk about, that have labelled him a bad teammate and allege that he uses dirty tricks in training to hurt his training partners. Unfortunately, for his sake, he’s had three teammates in the last year succumb to injuries while training with him.

“The Reem” exploded on to the UFC scene with a quick, first round stoppage against Brock Lesnar. However, he has lost his next fight to No. 4 contender Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-5, 1 NC) in a third round stoppage and then the fight after that to No. 3 contender Travis “Hapa” Browne (16-2-1) in a first round stoppage.

The 34-year-old then defeated No. 10 contender Frank Mir (16-9) by a unanimous decision at UFC 169 in February and will try for his first, two-fight, winning streak since joining the UFC.

“On Friday night,” said Overeem, “I’m going to destroy Ben Rothwell.”

Rothwell will be trying for his first two-fight winning streak in the UFC as well coming off a win by stoppage in the third round against Brandon “The Truth” Vera at UFC 164 last August. Before that win, he lost by a second round submission to No. 11 contender Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (16-8). Rothwell has beaten a top 15 fighter in his first round stoppage over No. 15 contender Brendan “Big Brown” Schaub at UFC 145.

As far as Ben is concerned, this fight is as much about winning as it is about giving the UFC fans the entertainment they deserve.

“My entire goal at all times is to hear the crowd roar,” said Rothwell, “that means that they’re excited and that they’re into the fight – that means everything to me.”