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'Excited' Ben Rothwell vows to make Heavyweight history, take division to 'new level' upon UFC return

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Rothwell was all set to lock horns with Fabricio Werdum this weekend (Sat., Sept. 10, 2016) in UFC 203's pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event until the injury bug decided to pay him a visit (full details here). After undergoing successful knee surgery, "Big Ben" this week appeared on "The MMA Hour," detailing his health issues and explaining that doctors told him he was simply too tough for his own good.

"I had some chronic issues and then there was an actual event," Rothwell said. "It was tough for me -- the doctors just said that I am too tough for my own good. They said they couldn’t imagine someone walking with what I had, let alone trying to fight. It’s just where it’s at and I carry on."

Competing in his place against Werdum will be Travis Browne, who already suffered a loss to "Vai Cavalo" two years ago. Rothwell will be an interested observer nonetheless, saying that sooner or later he’s going to have to face both men to get to where he wants to be. And that’s at the top of the Heavyweight division, which is where he plans to let loose and unleash all of his ability, making history and bringing the division to a new level.

"I am very excited for my return in 2017," said Rothwell. "I really truly believe that I have a lot to show the MMA world. Like, I can make history with what I can do. If I really let go of my talent and show everyone I can bring the Heavyweight division to the level it needs to be. We need some exciting fights, people that are willing to do what they say and go out and do it and be exciting."

Rothwell pointed to this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 93 main event between Andrei Arlvoski vs. Josh Barnett, who he says put on one hell of a show (recap), but still managed to make it to the press conference and be respectful toward one another.

Something like this.

Despite his most recent loss to Junior dos Santos, which snapped his impressive four-fight win streak and lengthened his race toward a future title, Rothwell's confidence has not wavered one bit. In fact, "Big Ben" promises to return with a vengeance against whoever UFC puts in front of him.

Any ideas who that should be?

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