UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell has questioned what might’ve happened if he had wound up fighting Stipe Miocic in Dublin a few years ago as originally planned.
Rothwell, who is coming off the back on a TKO win over Stefan Struve at the end of last year, is set to square off against Gian Villante at UFC 249 as he attempts to work his way back into the title picture in the heavyweight division.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Rothwell noted that he may have had a pretty good opportunity to vault himself into contention just over four years ago.
“Stipe and I were supposed to fight October of 2015,” Rothwell said. “And some weird act of God took place and he was taken from me and matched against Andrei Arlovski two months later and started a title run. So yeah – that kind of reminds me, ‘What if?’”
“It’s never going to leave me that I’m a horrible matchup for Stipe in so many ways, and he goes around and he’s the ‘baddest man on the planet,’” Rothwell continued. “Well, I’m just a guy who’ll beat him.”
“I’ve gotten to a point in my career where I have to believe in myself – I just do,” Rothwell added. “I believe in my skills. I always believe that you have to show the best that I can, and I’ve just gotta get in there. And once I get in the cage, as long as I can be healthy, I believe it’s going to be a good time.
“I’m done chasing things that are out of my control. It’s just about each fight: Go out, perform my best and be exciting. That’s all that really matters.”
At the time Ben Rothwell was riding a three-fight win streak, whereas Miocic went on to beat Andrei Arlovski which set up his title fight against Fabricio Werdum.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/4/2020.