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Former UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell has explained why he decided to sign with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) over the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
Although he was booked to face Alexander Gustafsson in May, news broke that Rothwell had requested his release from the UFC last March. With his efforts to emerge successful, “Big Ben” ended his 13-year, 17-fight stay inside the Octagon.
Given his prominent name in the sport, it was no surprise to see Rothwell being sued by other organizations, and it was soon announced that he had signed to lose the gloves and fight at BKFC.
A number of notable names have swapped the Octagon for PFL’s SmartCage in recent times. While the obvious example before this year would have been former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, a few fighters have since moved up the rankings to sign with the rising organization.
After featherweight Shane Burgos’ decision to explore other offers after fighting his contract landed him in the PFL, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos followed suit after his headlining loss to Jamahal Hill.
But while ‘Hurricane’ cited financial security as his reasoning for joining the PFL, Rothwell apparently did the same when it came to his reasons for choosing against the promotion.
Rothwell: “The BKFC has more guarantees”
Rather than sharing the same mindset as Burgos, “Big Ben” followed in the footsteps of Paige VanZant and Mike Perry, striking a deal to compete in bare-knuckle boxing. Since signing Rothwell, the BKFC have also tied former UFC fighters Felice Herrig, John Dodson and Greg Hardy to deals.
During a recent interview with The MMA-Holes, Rothwell has opened up about why he’s embarked on a bare-knuckle business to further his mixed martial arts career in the PFL. Pointing to the number of wins needed to reach the MMA promotion’s $1 million prize, “Big Ben” suggested that BKFC offer him a more guaranteed income.
“My fighting style works really well (for BKFC), and this is an opportunity to get all the people who love a knockout, who love to punch, to connect,” Rothwell said. “The PFL has the, ‘Hey, if you’re going to win X, Y, and Z, you get the million dollars.’ But you have to make it happen.
“Well, it’s just more guaranteed. I have this contract with them, I show up and I know what I’m going to get. It’s exciting for me. I can just beat my heart and no matter what happens. pass,” Rothwell added.
After a long wait, Rothwell finally has his first promotional set. “Big Ben” will throw himself with Bobo O’Bannon at BKFC 30, scheduled for Monroe, Louisiana, next Saturday, October 1.
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