UFC 135 fight card: New and improved Ben Rothwell ready to dispose of one-dimensional Mark Hunt

Photo via UFC

Despite picking up a particularly pleasing knockout victory in his last bout, fight fans still find themselves wondering why it is that Mark Hunt is clogging up the main card of a pay-per-view broadcast with the world's premier mixed martial arts organization.

It's a fair question, all things considered.

Before defeating Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 127 back in February, Hunt had lost six fights in a row spanning four years time. That's a downright laughable level of inadequacy. So why keep him around?

Well, as UFC President Dana White would tell it, picking up his contract and allowing him to carry it out was a condition of the Pride buyout. Now he's in the unenviable position of finding consistently meaningful match-ups to provide Hunt.

One of the ways he's done so is utilize him as a test of sorts for a returning Ben Rothwell at tonight's (Sept. 24, 2011) UFC 135: "Jones vs. Rampage" event in Denver, Colorado.

We haven't seen "Big" Ben since he battled through multiple injuries to squeak past Gilbert Yvel in June of last year. During his first takedown attempt, Rothwell tore his ACL, an injury that forced him out of action for nine months.

On top of that, he suffered a deviated septum following an errant head kick in the first round. 

Impressive as it was for him to battle back and earn the decision win, it's been equally as difficult to sit on the sidelines while the winds of change have swept through the heavyweight division.

He's used his extensive time off to reinvent himself, though, completely overhauling his diet and training to create a new and improved Ben Rothwell, one who is poised to reclaim the hype he once held as one of the better big men in the sport.

One of the ways he plans on doing so is exploiting his opponent's weakness. As he explained to MMAmania.com just days ago:

"I have no respect for his one-sided game. There's three aspects of this game and him only having one of them is not doing anything for him. Even in the striking realm, he's shown to have more difficulty with taller fighters that have reach and I've really worked on my distance and utilizing my reach. I don't care where the fight's at really. I'm confident in all aspects of the fight and I'm just ready to go and put an exciting fight on."

Exciting, it shall be.

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