Ben Rothwell is happy with his path down the bareknuckle boxing route, but he wouldn’t mind taking a detour back into MMA.
The former UFC contender and long-time MMA veteran is interested in fighting Francis Ngannou in PFL. Rothwell thinks that would be a giant fight for his legacy and one that would definitely get him back into MMA, as few would at this stage in his career.
“If I got offered to fight Francis Ngannou, we would have a serious sit down with everybody involved because that’s the kind of fight that I think anybody, any of the guys in my position would want to take,” Rothwell told MMA Junkie Radio. “I can’t speak for them, but I 100 percent would take that fight, yes. Indeed. It’s one of those fights that’s a legacy fight.”
Rothwell fought for the UFC from 2009-21. He competed alongside Ngannou in the heavyweight division, but never crossed paths. Ngannou went on to win the UFC belt and then fight out his contract as champion to sign with PFL and pursue a career in boxing. Ngannou recently shocked the world by going the distance with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, losing a controversial split decision.
Rothwell thought Ngannou did well and was proud to see him find success in the boxing world. However, selfishly, he does think that success makes an MMA fight against him unlikely.
“Francis did so good in his boxing match that I think that got really pulled away at this time,” Rothwell said. “They’re talking about trying to match him up with other boxers to do MMA and stuff like that. He’s going to get pulled away to a totally different direction in that world. They’re already talking about him and Tyson Fury having a rematch, so it sounds like he’s got his hands full, but something like that would be fun to come back to, but outside that I’m having a lot of fun with BKFC and I got plenty to do here.”
Rothwell, who’s 2-0 since transitioning to BKFC, returns to the ring on Dec. 2. He takes on former UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee in the co-main event of BKFC 56.