Report | First fight in the works for May 13 UFC card

Ben Rothwell

The first fight has been targeted for the May 13 card in Jacksonville, Florida: a heavyweight bout between veterans Ben Rothwell and Ovince Saint Preux.

Saint Preux was scheduled to fight Ion Cutelaba at UFC Nebraska after Cutelaba’s rematch with Magomed Ankalaev at the original UFC 249 card fell apart. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Cutelaba’s fight against OSP has also fallen through as the Moldovan fighter cannot re-enter the United States. Instead, OSP will now move up to heavyweight on short notice to take on Rothwell.

Ion Cutelaba can’t re-enter the country, I’m told, so one fight that they are looking to add to that new May 13 card is OSP vs Rothwell at heavyweight.

It’s definitely an interesting matchup at first glance given that OSP has fought the majority of his career at light heavyweight. For OSP to move up to heavyweight on such short notice against one of the biggest men in that division in Rothwell is definitely intriguing, to say the least.

OSP is coming off of a submission win over Michal Oleksiejczuk via Von Flue choke at UFC Copenhagen last September. That win snapped a two-fight losing skid for the former UFC light heavyweight title contender, not to mention extending his UFC record for most Von Flue chokes. He’ll look to extend that record further when he faces Rothwell.

Rothwell is coming off of a TKO win over Stefan Struve at UFC Washington, D.C. last December which snapped a nasty three-fight losing skid for the veteran heavyweight. Despite fighting in the UFC since 2009, Rothwell is still somehow on the right side of 40 at age 38. It’s unclear what a win over OSP would do for his standing in the heavyweight division, but a win would be helpful regardless of his opponent.

Who wins: Ben Rothwell or Ovince Saint Preux?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/24/2020.