Ask and you shall not receive.
Ben Rothwell learned that the hard way after his calls for a fight against Andrei Arlovski -- which he wanted to co-headline the UFC 195 pay-per-view (PPV) in January -- went ignored by the higher ups at ZUFFA.
Instead, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matchmakers booked Stipe Miocic to battle "The Pitbull" at the New Year's weekend event (details here).
Miocic got injured and was forced to pull out of his scheduled heavyweight showdown against Rothwell, which was supposed to go down in Dubin this weekend (Sat., Oct. 24, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 76 on UFC Fight Pass.
Needless to say, Rothwell wasn't too pleased with the pairing, as he vented his frustrations to MMA Junkie:
"It's hard to be excited, I'm disheartened. I've been rallying for a fight with Andrei while in Ireland, for a whole week. I felt a lot of good vibes, a lot of traction. UFC on FOX posted about my calls for Andrei, The Underground was on it, Twitter was blowing up. I just felt people wanted to see the fight. Two weeks ago, Stipe pulled out of the fight. Here I am in Ireland, I'm here to fight and ready to go. Somehow, the guy that's injured, that I was supposed to fight now gets to fight the guy I've been asking for. It makes no sense whatsoever. I'm not going to talk about what's fair because there is nothing fair in this sport, so let's get past that. I just, fair or not, I'm just completely blindsided. I mean if Andrei got matched up with somebody else, fine, whatever. But to get matched up with the guy I'm supposed to fight that's not here to fight; the fight is Saturday and this is all getting announced, the fight hasn't happened. It's absurd."
It's a rather frustrating situation for "Big Ben," who says he had a friendly face-to-face conversation with Arlovski in the hotel lobby about a potential scrap between the two just a few minutes before the announcement.
And you can't help but feel sorry for the guy, as his constant pleas for big fights have gone unanswered, despite the fact that he's been taking care of business inside the cage.
"I said, 'Why is his guy (Stipe) getting rewarded?' And they're like, 'It's not a reward, he's ranked third, Andrei's ranked fourth. We're just putting it together because of rankings.' It doesn't make sense. I mean Overeem is ranked behind me and he's fighting the No. 1 contender in Junior Dos Santos. I mean, we are all in the top 10, let us fight each other. I'm the guy that's been calling out Andrei, isn't that worth anything? They've been telling us for years that fighters need to call out guys. I've been calling out the top dudes for the last year now and not one of the fights I've been asking for has been (made). So, I don't get it it, it's obvious frustration. You just try to hold on to, 'Man, is something going to happen?' I just don't see it now. The only thing that I can see is that by literally an act of God, or Overeem gets hurt and I get to fight Junior. Cool, then all of this makes sense, I'll be happy and I get the fight that I want. I don't think it's going to happen, Overeem is professional and he shows up to his fights."
Unless Joe Silva and Co. have a great fight lined up for "Big Ben," I'd say the heavyweight bruiser unjustly got the raw end of the deal.
Speaking of UFC matchmakers, Rothwell couldn't help but clown them after the headlining act for UFC Fight Night 76 was canceled following an injury to Joseph Duffy.
NEWS FLASH Joe Duffy has been booked to fight the winner of McGregor-Aldo, @DustinPoirier sidelined till next Spring— Big Ben Rothwell (@RothwellFighter) October 21, 2015
"Big Ben" for the win.
For now, Rothwell will stick to his plan of staying ready just in case anything happens to the aforementioned Dos Santos (or Overeem) in the lead up to their heavyweight showdown at UFC on FOX 17 in December.
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