Ben Rothwell's fight against Stefan Struve at UFC on ESPN 7 was marred with controversy as Rothwell's second round KO win over Struve was overshadowed by a pair of low blows that the former landed on his counterpart.
Rothwell opened up on the controversial incident during the fight. He says that he is apologetic about what happened but also mentioned that he has moved forward from that. (h/t MMA Fighting)
“Yeah, there’s an asterisk, but I can’t do anything about it. I tried to be as apologetic as I could and complimented Stefan Struve for being a man. But, you’ve got to move on. I got myself in a really good position to have a big 2020 with all of my coaching staff and the conditioning I’m in. I just want to look better in my next fight. I want to be noticeably better the next time around.”
During the fight, Rothwell's accidental groin strike left Struve writhing on the mat in pain. Struve took time to recover and as the fight rolled on, the Dutch fighter was quite literally 'caught off-guard' with another accidental groin strike. The referee deducted a point from him and as the fight went on, Rothwell landed a violent combination of strikes on Struve, knocking him out.
“I was down because I knew they were taking a point [away]. So I’m like ‘they might stop the fight.’ But then I looked at his cornermen and they were like ‘You’ve got to fight, you got the fight. Coast to a win. You got this.’ So, I was pretty sure he was going to keep fighting."
While admitting that he would have liked to win in better circumstances, Rothwell also mentioned that he would have taken any kind of win coming his way after suffering from three defeats in a row.
“I think I was on the chopping block. Let’s be honest, I’ve lost three decisions prior to this. I didn’t get helped, I don’t get finished and I fight to the end. But four losses is four losses and it can’t happen. So, this was crucial.”Published 09 Dec 2019, 23:30 IST