UFC 145 Fight Card Final Predictions: Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell

Kyle Symes@ksymes88Correspondent IIIApril 21, 2012


Both Brendan Schaub and Ben Rothwell will look to re-energize their UFC careers at UFC 145 when the two men meet each other inside the Octagon.

Schaub is coming off a KO loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira while Rothwell has gone just 1-2 in his UFC tenure, with the last fight being a loss to Mark Hunt.

When Rothwell was brought into the UFC, he was among some of the best potential title challengers not inside the UFC after making a good run in the IFL. Being fairly nimble for a guy his size, fans have been shaking their heads at Rothwell's performances inside the Octagon. He simply just doesn't look to be the same fighter he once was.

That's a dangerous trait to have when facing a young, improving heavyweight prospect like Schaub. A solid jiu-jitsu game mixed with some heavy strikes has made Schaub a pretty well-rounded fighter.

Schaub will also have the physical gifts of speed and agility on his side when he faces Rothwell. Both will be key for Schaub as he will need to get his offense going while avoiding the big shots from Rothwell.

In his bout with Nogueira, Schaub was actually doing pretty well in the stand-up game but looked to get a little over confident in his abilities and got caught. Hopefully Schaub has learned from his mistakes and will keep the pressure on Rothwell should the opening present itself.

For Rothwell, he will need to use his size to slow down Schaub's attack. Weighing in at 263 pounds, Rothwell will be the bigger man inside the Octagon at UFC 145, a factor he must use to his advantage.

Whether that is by holding Schaub against the fence or on the mat depends on Rothwell's game plan. Although Hunt is a better striker than Schaub, it's clear that Rothwell won't be able to keep up with the speed of Schaub in their bout.

Schaub's speed will need to be utilized in order to avoid taking a shot on the chin. It's hard to say someone in the heavyweight division “doesn't have a chin” given the size of the competitors, but Schaub has been KO'd twice. Avoiding the big Rothwell strike will be key for Schaub as he works his offense.

If Schaub can use his superior speed and athleticism against Rothwell, he will come away with a solid victory. Rothwell has been notoriously hard to finish, but I believe Schaub has the power and cardio to keep stringing together heavy punches throughout the duration of this bout.