Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell
“The Truth” returns to the heavyweight division, as Brandon Vera (12-6) takes on Ben Rothwell (32-9). Rothwell is a Wisconsin-native and the overwhelming crowd favorite. The third man inside the Octagon will be Herb Dean, the best referee to save a heavyweight from a further beatdown.
Round 1: Big leg kick from Vera, but Rothwell lands a hammer in return. Vera takes the leg out from Rothwell, dropping him, but he quickly gets to his feet before Vera can pounce. Rothwell lands a right that knocks Vera against the fence, but he is still in this thing. Somehow! That was a nasty right. Vera going back to the kicks, trying to keep Rothwell at bay. Exchange of lefts stop each man for a brief moment before they come right back to keep fighting. Big kick to the body from Vera, and Rothwell lands a counter. This has been a very efficient striking, counter-striking contest. Vera tries to get Rothwell to chase, and he’ll have none of it, stopping and waving him to the center. Rothwell is slowly stalking Vera around the cage, saving some energy in the process. Just before the round ends, Vera gets kicked flush in the junk. He is in obvious pain and the crowd reacts to the replays.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Rothwell
Round 2: Vera going back to work with his kicks, as Rogan and Goldberg reflect on his nasty kick delivered to Randy Couture. Rothwell catches him and lands a nice knee to the body, show he is more than just hands. Holy cow, Rothwell throws a head kick that lands, but Vera doesn’t even flinch. Rothwell clinches and is looking to do some damage. Vera gets out and lands a nice left, but Rothwell responds with an uppercut. Rothwell lands a kick that nearly sweeps Vera off his feet. Vera shoots for a single-leg and gets brushed to the side. He’s a great wrestler, but didn’t set it up at all, so it had no chance. Rothwell to the body and clinches again with a minute left. Rothwell has him caught and unloads with a pair of shots.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Vera
Round 3: Rothwell’s been called out for his cardio before, but he looks great here. Rothwell hurts him with a kick to the body and clinches. Vera seemed hurt from the kick, as he started to double-over before being tied up. Rothwell snaps off another kick, but it’s low and just hits the arm. Rothwell doing some taunting, looking like Clay Guida moving his head and he lands a nice combo, followed by a left uppercut. He has Vera hurt, teeing off with rights, lefts and a knee. Vera gets dropped, Rothwell pounces and he curls up. The Bradley Center explodes for “Big Ben.”
Ben Rothwell def. Brandon Vera via TKO (strikes) at 1:54 of Round 3