Brendan Schaub was being built up as a potential title contender at heavyweight less than year ago but his chin decided to have other plans.
"The Hybrid" was hoping to get back on the winning track last night (April 21, 2011) when he took on IFL veteran Ben Rothwell on the UFC 145 main card in Atlanta, Georgia.
Instead, it was Rothwell who not only stole a "Knockout of the Night" bonus, but also the fan's hearts with one of the best post-fight speeches in years.
So how did Rothwell pull off the upset? And what happens next for both men?
Follow me after the jump for our Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub UFC 145 post-fight review and analysis:
Both powerful heavyweights were looking to stand and trade early but neither landed anything really significant. That is, until Rothwell was caught completely off guard by a very nice spinning back elbow from Schaub which landed cleanly and rocked Rothwell, sending him stumbling backwards.
Smelling blood, Schaub went in for the kill, throwing big uppercuts and a heavy right hand but he left himself completely wide open for counters and Rothwell made him pay, landing a short left hook and then a nice, solid left hook once he'd regained his wits which sent Schaub down to the ground.
Once on the ground, Rothwell landed a terrific right hand then one more before referee Herb Dean yanked him off while Schaub fought the invisible man.
For Brendan Schaub, this has to be an incredibly frustrating turn of events. He's a terrific athlete and he's got some heavy hands, but he just can't take a solid punch to save his life right now. Some fighters can, like Rothwell, and some can't. Schaub is one of the hardest working heavyweights in MMA, but when you can't eat a decent shot, it extremely limits your potential to become a contender. I'm very surprised he didn't try to take Rothwell down and take advantage of Rothwell's defensive deficiencies from his back. That's two straight first round knockout losses for Schaub now.
Schaub will be kept around if he wants to keep fighting, but his potential has taken a nosedive. I'd expect to see him square off against someone along the lines of Philip De Fries, Christian Morecraft or Ednaldo Oliveira in his next fight.
For Ben Rothwell, he's got to be on cloud nine. The massive heavyweight had not exactly been lighting the world on fire with three straight ugly performances in a row in all three of his UFC fights. He'd even mentioned that he was thinking of calling it quits after his shoddy performance against Mark Hunt. He proved what we all knew about him in this fight, that he can take a shot on the feet and that he's got some heavy hands if given the opportunity to land them. It was nice to see "Big" Ben get back on track.
I'd love to see him fight fellow UFC 145 winner Travis Browne next or potentially, he could step up into the UFC 146 main card if he's willing to make a quick turnaround. Other potential opponents include the Lavar Johnson vs. Pat Barry winner or possibly Shawn Jordan. Either way, it's nice to see Rothwell get a moment in the spotlight and take home a big bonus after all he's been through in the last couple years.
For complete UFC 145 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Will Brendan Schaub ever be able to get past his chin deficiencies? What did you think of Ben Rothwell's heartwarming post-fight speech?