The UFC hasn’t been able to find a replacement opponent for Ben Rothwell next week following an injury to Stipe Miocic, and as such he’s been pulled from the UFC Fight Night 76 card.
“No hard feelings towards Stipe at all,” Rothwell said in comments made to MMAFighting.com. “I’ve been on the other side of the coin. These things happen, and I’d like to hope that everything happens for a reason. Maybe there is a bigger fight for me out there.
“I was very much ready. One hundred percent ready to go for next week. I will shed a tear being in that crowd. I’ve been waiting 16 years to fight in front of a crowd like that, so I will pray before it’s all over that I get that chance.”
Rothwell is hopeful that another significant opportunity will come along soon enough, and top of his list would be to step in against Junior dos Santos if Alistair Overeem is unable to fight at UFC on Fox 17.
“If by some act of God Overeem pulls out of the Junior dos Santos fight, I would be very happy. I want to fight JDS.”
UFC Fight Night 76 moves forward without the bout in Dublin next week. The event airs live on UFC Fight Pass, headlined by the lightweight bout between Joseph Duffy and Dustin Poirier.
Penick’s Analysis: It’s hard to find a suitable short notice replacement in the top end of the heavyweight division, because the top end of the heavyweight division is sparsely populated. It’s an unfortunate loss for the card in Dublin, and for both Rothwell and Miocic given their respective pushes for a title fight. It’s been significantly delayed for both, unfortunately, and now Rothwell has to wait for something to open up, and with most of the others in the division already booked, that could be a little while yet.