Monday, November 28, 2022

Rothwell Explains Why He Favored BKFC Switch Over PFL

Former UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell has explained why he decided to sign with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) over the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Despite being booked to face Alexander Gustafsson in May, news broke that Rothwell had requested his release from the UFC this past March. With his efforts to exit proving successful, “Big Ben” brought to a close his 13-year, 17-fight stint inside the Octagon.

Given his prominent name in the sport, it was unsurprising to see Rothwell chased by other organizations, and it was quickly announced that he’d signed on to lose the gloves and fight in BKFC.

In recent times, a number of notable names have swapped the Octagon for PFL’s SmartCage. While the obvious example prior to this year would have been former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, a couple of fighters have since vacated spots in the rankings to sign with the rising organization.

After featherweight Shane Burgos’ decision to explore other offers after fighting out his contract led him to the PFL, one-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos followed suit following his headlining loss to Jamahal Hill.

But while “Hurricane” cited financial security as his reasoning for joining the PFL, Rothwell has seemingly done the same when it comes to why he chose against the promotion.

Rothwell: ‘BKFC Has More Guarantees’

Rather than sharing the same mindset as Burgos, “Big Ben” followed in the footsteps of Paige VanZant and Mike Perry, agreeing a deal to compete in bare-knuckle boxing. Since Rothwell’s signing, BKFC has also tied former UFC fighters Felice Herrig, John Dodson, and Greg Hardy to deals.

During a recent interview with The MMA-Holes, Rothwell explained why he committed to a bare-knuckle venture over the continuation of his mixed martial arts career in the PFL. Pointing towards the number of wins required to reach the MMA promotion’s $1 million prize money, “Big Ben” suggested that BKFC offers him a more guaranteed income.

“My fighting style works great (for BKFC), and this is an opportunity to get all the people that love a knockout, love the striking, to tune in,” Rothwell said. “The PFL has the, ‘Hey, if you go and win X, Y, and Z, you get the million bucks.’ But you gotta make that happen.

“Well, this is just more guaranteed. I’ve got this contract with them, I show up, and I know what I’m gonna get. That’s exciting for me. I can just fight my heart off and it doesn’t matter what happens,” Rothwell added.

After a long wait, Rothwell finally has his promotional debut set. “Big Ben” will throw down with Bobo O’Bannon at BKFC 30, set for Monroe, Louisiana, next Saturday on October 1.

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