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Ben
Rothwell
is the latest prominent UFC veteran to sign with Bare
Knuckle Fighting Championship.

The promotion confirmed the deal after Rothwell initially announced
the news during an appearance on
”The MMA Hour.”
A date for Rothwell’s BKFC debut is expected to
be announced soon.

Rothwell was scheduled to face Alexander
Gustafsson
on May 21, but
the bout was canceled
after the Kenosha, Wisc., native was
released from the UFC for at the time were unknown reasons.
Rothwell offered some clarity to the situation on Monday, when he
revealed that the Las Vegas-based promotion told him it would not
negotiate a new contract until after the fight, which was the last
on the existing deal.

“Even if I go in and perform well, knock out Gustafsson in the
first round, look great, what’s gonna happen next?” Rothwell said.
“They came back and we asked, ‘Are we gonna sign a deal?’ They came
back and said, ‘Hey, let’s see what happens after this fight.’ …
That kind of left the door open for, ‘Go on and win, do great, and
that’s it, we’re gonna let you go anyway.’ I didn’t like that, and
we asked for our release in February … I think it caught them by
surprise if anything. I’ve been with them for 13 years. So they
granted it us, and they didn’t have to. I have nothing bad to
say.”

Rothwell, who will turn 41 in October, is a well-traveled
heavyweight with a 39-14 record compiled in the UFC, International
Fight League and other organizations over the course of a pro
tenure that began in 2001. He is 9-8 in the Octagon, with his most
notable success coming during a four-bout winning streak from 2013
to 2016 that saw him dispatch Brandon
Vera
, Alistair
Overeem
, Matt
Mitrione
and Josh Barnett
in succession. His ledger includes other notable wins over the
likes of Roy Nelson,
Ricco
Rodriguez
, Brendan
Schaub
, Stefan
Struve
and Ovince St.
Preux
, among others.

Rothwell believes the transition to BKFC makes sense after the
organization topped proposals from other promotions.

“BKFC came with the best offer, made me very excited,” Rothwell
said “I believe that it’s the place for me because I was doing BKFC
long before MMA. It’s something that’s part of my life, something
my great grandfather was doing, probably not legally, but had a
history of it. It’s something that’s in my blood.”


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