MMA fighting

Ben Rothwell signs with BKFC after parting ways with UFC

Ben Rothwell will take off the gloves for his next fight after signing a deal to join the BKFC roster.

The veteran heavyweight announced his signing during MMA hour Monday after being released from the UFC in March after he was originally scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson in May.

Rothwell, 40, has faced a long list of top fighters in his career, dating back to 2001 when he made his professional debut. Over the years, Rothwell fought in numerous promotions, including the IFL and Affliction, before finally signing with the UFC in 2009.

He bounced between wins and losses in his first five fights with the promotion before having his most impressive run with four straight wins that brought him closer to title contention.

During this race, Rothwell won victories over Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and he became the first person in the history of mixed martial arts to submit the former heavyweight champion of the UFC Josh Barnett .

After that streak, Rothwell suffered three straight losses while serving a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for the “presence of an anabolic androgenic steroid”.

In his last five fights with the UFC, Rothwell has gone 3-2, including wins over Chris Barnett, Ovince Saint Preux and Stefan Struve.

Now he will be looking to make an impact with BKFC where he will join a heavyweight division led by defending champion Arnold Adams, who sports a 6-1 resume with the bare knuckle outfit. UFC veteran Alan Belcher also recently competed in the BKFC heavyweight division after coming out of retirement and picking up back-to-back wins with the promotion.