Following news earlier Thursday that Shane Carwin was being pulled from his UFC 104 matchup against fellow heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez to headline UFC 106 in November against champion Brock Lesnar, Ben Rothwell has been tapped to replace Carwin and take on Velasquez at UFC 104 on October 24 in Los Angeles.
Velasquez (6-0), a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State, followed up UFC knockouts of Brad Morris, Jake O’Brien, and Denis Stojnic with a unanimous decision over Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 in June. If victorious against Rothwell, Velasquez is then expected to fight the winner of the November matchup between Lesnar and Carwin.
Prior to being booked to fight Velasquez, Rothwell had been expected to make his Octagon debut against fellow newcomer Chase Gormley at UFC 104 in a fight that was originally scheduled for Affliction’s canceled “Trilogy” event earlier this month.
Rothwell (30-6), an IFL veteran who trains under Pat Miletich and Duke Roufus, had won 13-straight fights, including wins over Roy Nelson and Krzysztof Soszynski, before suffering his first loss in nearly four years at the hands of Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned last July. Rothwell rebounded at Adrenaline MMA 2 in December, scoring a first-round submission of Chris Guillen.
Pictured: Cain Velasquez