Ben Rothwell scored a huge first-round victory by submitting Matt Mitrione at UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans on Saturday, but his winning didn't stop at the tapout. Speaking with ringside commentator Jon Anik in the cage, Rothwell cut an awesomely terrible, professional wrestling-style promo on the rest of the heavyweight division and capped it with a maniacal, super-villainy laugh.
If that isn't great, I don't know what is.
"The only fight that matters to me now is for the No. 1 contender spot," he shouted. "I will have the UFC title." While Anik would make it even more awkward by unintentionally undercutting Rothwell's mic work and forcing him to focus on the actual fight, it was still a great moment from the 44-bout veteran.
Rothwell, long a middling brawler, has recently legitimized himself as a true heavyweight contender. The victory over Mitrione, which came via a sneaky choke that he sunk in while defending himself from a takedown attempt, extends his winning streak to three.
Not only that, but he has quickly endeared himself to fans with his wacky post-fight antics.
9/6/14 NEVER FORGET https://t.co/0jMMNe5Atd— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) June 6, 2015
The IFL veteran alternated wins and losses in his first three years in the UFC, but he bucked that trend at UFC Fight Night 50 when he scored a massive upset victory over Alistair Overeem, sneaking a right hand through his guard and getting the win at 2:19 of Round 1.
While that was a huge victory over a respected veteran, Rothwell got just as much attention for a silly dance he did just a foot away from a barely conscious 'Reem.
While Rothwell may or may not get a top-contender bout, he has certainly forced his way into the discussion. Though he finds himself sitting behind fellow resurgent vet Andrei Arlovski and the fast-rising Stipe Miocic, among others, it's hard to imagine that Rothwell is especially far off from a crack at the belt.