In some quite surprising news, veteran UFC heavyweight contender, Ben Rothwell has been pulled from his upcoming May clash with former three-time light heavyweight title challenger, Alexander Gustafsson – and subsequently released from his contract with the organization.
Ben Rothwell, 40, was scheduled to meet with the returning, Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 210 on May 21., however, as per an initial report by MMA Fighting reporter, Damon Martin – the Kenosha native has now been removed from the bout, and ultimately, handed his release from the promotion. At the time of publication, it is currently unknown what led to the release of Rothwell from the UFC.
39-14 as a professional, 53-fight professional veteran, Rothwell most recently competed at UFC Vegas 42 back in November of last year, suffering a first round knockout defeat to Brazilian heavyweight, Marcos Rogerio de Lima.
Ben Rothwell landed a 3-0 record in professional kickboxing before his transition to MMA
The IFL and Affliction alum began his tenure with the UFC back in October 2009, and featured inside the Octagon on 17 separate occasions in the time since.
Debuting with a knockout loss to former division kingpin, Cain Velasquez, Ben Rothwell lodged an eventual 9-8 promotional résumé – competing opposite four former promotional championship winners in the process.
Landing a career 28 knockout victories and a further seven submission wins – the last of which came back in May with a second round guillotine win over Chris Barnett, Rothwell also holds notable organizational victories against the likes of Ovince Saint Preux, Stefan Struve, Josh Barnett, Matt Mitrione, Alistair Overeem, Brandon Vera, Brendan Schaub, and Gilbert Yvel.
A professional since his January 2001 debut at Freestyle Combat Challenge 3, Rothwell, a native of Wisconsin has also managed wins over the likes of Kerry Schall, Travis Fulton, Dan Bobish, Devin Cole, Ricco Rodriguez, and Roy Nelson in outings outside of the UFC.
At the time of publication, it is also currently unknown if Swedish fan-favorite, Gustafsson will remain on the upcoming May 21. against a new opponent or if he will be removed from the event as a result of Rothwell’s release.