UFC 115 was here at Vancouver and it was a huge success. Before the big memorable event we had a chance to meet the UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell and TapouT founders at one of the best MMA equipment stores at lower mainland, Evolution Combat.
Ben Rothwell has a pretty good record in MMA and has tons of wins against good fighters. After consecutive wins at International Fight League, which later on folded, and a short stop at Affliction, he got recruited by UFC.
Here is the interview we had with him before his fight with Gilbert Yvel.
- Ben how do you like Vancouver?
I like Vancouver man, people are really nice and I have a very good time. UFC 115 is the biggest sell out of the UFC history. It is very exciting to be a part of this huge event.
- What do you think about the upcoming fight against Gilbert Yvel?
It is going to be pretty exciting fight, Gilbert is an experienced fighter and he likes to stand up and bang. I am looking forward to it.
- You talked about standing up and banging, I have heard you started as a stand up fighter and have good record at Kickboxing. Why did not you go to K-1 and chose MMA?
I use a versatile style of Muay Thai, Kickboxing and boxing but I originally started with MMA at age 17. Later on I enjoyed the stand up portion and tried to move to K-1 but it was very evident that UFC and MMA is the future and if you want to make a career in fighting you should join UFC.
- Ben I get this from fans every once in a while. Do you think there should be heavyweight and super heavy weight division?
So you say maybe a cut between the division? I don’t have problem with that. The problem is anything above 265 pounds there are just not many fighters who are good enough to fight at UFC. Some of the guys in 230 range have an advantage of being faster but guys in my weight just keep improving.
- Who is your favourite fighter in heavyweight division and UFC in general?
The guy I enjoy watching is Shane Carwin, he has a great stand up style and I really like him as a person. I think his fight against Lesnar would decide who the best is. One of my favourite fighters is GSP. I have been watching him fight back in the days nobody knew who he was. He is in my age and he has achieved so much more. I have watched him progress and just like Carwin I like who he is not just inside of octagon but outside of octagon as well. I like the way he treats the fans, because without the fans we would not be able to do this. Guys like that are the ones that I really look up to.
- Which camp do you train at now?
I kind of mix around, in Wisconsin I have Gracie Barra and Duke Roufus, stand up coaches but I also train with Matt Hume at Seattle, he has been a great fighter and trainer and has trained many good fighters.
- Which aspect of your fight game do you think should be improved? What are you focusing on right now?
Striking and ground game, those two. Wrestling also is a foundation and can control the fight and that is one area I am really working on. I want to give the fans the fight they want to see.
- What do you think about the Evolution Combat shop?
This is an awesome shop. This is a great shop, dedicated to the sport and has great selection of everything. I recommend everybody to come and check it out.
Ben was initially supposed to fight Mirko Crocop but had to withdraw from the event because of illness. He won his fight against Yvel with unanimous decision and improved his record at UFC.
I found Ben very nice and approachable guy and wish him all the best in his career.
Alireza Fadaie teaches Kyokushinkan Karate and Kickboxing at Richmond Sports Club. Visit his website at www.warriorsclub.net
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