Two hard-hitting UFC heavyweights will collide in what shapes up as a potentially explosive matchup at Fight Night 50. Alistair Overeem will square off against Ben Rothwell on Sept. 5 in Connecticut. Overeem will be looking to make it back-to-back Octagon victories, while Rothwell will be intent on rejuvenating his career after being forced to serve a nine-month suspension.
The No. 7 ranked Overeem was last seen battering and bloodying Frank Mir en route to a lopsided unanimous decision victory at UFC 169. It was a badly-needed win for “The Reem” after being knocked out in consecutive fights by Antonio Silva and Travis Browne. He’s compiled a 2-2 record inside the Octagon with that other triumph having come in devastating fashion against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. The former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion owns other notable career wins against Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt.
Since his last fight, Overeem underwent elbow surgery and also switched fight camps. He now trains in New Mexico as part of Team Jackson-Winkeljohn. Overeem has produced a remarkable 34 of his 37 career victories by either knockout or submission. Another strong effort against Rothwell would likely put him back into the title conversation.
Rothwell saw the positive momentum from a third-round knockout of Brandon Vera at UFC 164 derailed when his post-fight drug test showed high levels of testosterone. He fell off the heavyweight radar because of his suspension-related inactivity, but a victory against the dangerous Overeem could vault him into top-15 territory.
“Big Ben” has faced top-flight opposition during his career and holds victories over Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub. He’s also squared off against Andrei Arlovski, Gabriel Gonzaga and current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Rothwell has 19 career knockouts in his 33 career victories and has gone 3-3 during his Octagon tenure.
This has the makings of being an entertaining affair between a pair of massive heavyweights who pack a major punch. Overeem will be looking to continue his quest towards that elusive UFC title opportunity and remain a key figure in the division, while Rothwell will be looking to prove that he still remains very relevant.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports