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Report: Ben Rothwell returns from two-year suspension, meets Blagoy Ivanov at UFC event this March

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UFC 145: Schaub v Rothwell Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Former UFC heavyweight contender Ben Rothwell will make his return to the Octagon after a two-year suspension for a failed drug test to meet former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion Blagoy Ivanov at an undetermined UFC event this March.

The news was first reported by Bulgarian MMA site and later confirmed by MMAjunkie.

Rothwell, 37, last competed at UFC Fight Night 86 back in April of 2016 in which “Big Ben” lost to former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos via five-round unanimous decision. Before that loss, Rothwell had racked off four-straight finishes inside of the Octagon, which included submission wins over Josh Barnett and Matt Mitrione and knockout wins of Alistair Overeem and Brandon Vera.

Ivanov, 32, lost his Octagon debut back in July when he dropped a five-round main event unanimous decision to JDS. The former WSOF and Bellator MMA standout remains one of the more interesting names to watch in 2019 as he tries to inject some new blood into the UFC’s heavyweight division. While Rothwell is going to threaten the Bulgarian fighter with chokes galore, Ivanov has only been submitted once in his 19-fight professional career, which came against Alexander Volkov back in 2014 under the Bellator banner.

Stick with Mania for more news on Rothwell’s return to action.