Ben Rothwell and Junior dos Santos will meet at UFC Fight Night 86. Rothwell feels if he wins, it should make him the #1 contender. He appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday to discuss the upcoming fight.
“Look at it this way: waiting 10 months is really the [other] option,” Rothwell revealed. “No. Because, Alistair Overeem, even though we already fought, is a top guy. Top guys are top guys, and he’s injured or he’s dealing with things. He says it’s a shoulder. Andrei Arlovski, same thing. He said it’s a shoulder. Cain Velasquez, everybody knows. It’s documented. Cain, back injury.
“Travis Browne was, I guess from everything I’m hearing, supposed to take this fight (against dos Santos). It was a lock. Then things were said, or something happened, and he said that his foot was too injured. So all four of the top guys [are out], and then the other two (Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum), obviously common sense will say something is happening there. So, that leaves Junior.
“Now, Junior dos Santos might be coming off a loss, but he also beat Stipe, he beat Cain, he beat Werdum, and he’s a former UFC heavyweight champion. So that is what it is. He has a lot of people who believe in him still. They think it’s a great fight. A lot of people are picking him still, so that means it’s a great fight for the fans. I know that I have a legion of fans now who wholeheartedly don’t just think I’m going to win this fight, they think I’m going to go on to win the title and defend it. I believe that I’m going to make all of them right, but it starts here with Junior dos Santos. And I believe this one definitely makes me the No. 1 contender, so I accept this challenge.”
Rothwell is currently on a four-fight winning streak. UFC Fight Night 86 takes place from Zagreb, Croatia at the Zagreb Arena on April 10th.