UFC Fight Night 68 isn’t getting too much love from the media, but it is admittedly good. It doesn’t help that UFC 188 is next weekend. From top to bottom the event has interesting and impactful fights. One of the most important, and exciting, bouts is the co-main event between Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell.

While some hardcore fans may dismiss this match up’s level of importance it’s only because of the depth, or lack thereof, within the UFC heavyweight division. Both men are on win streaks, and a win could put them into a contendership fight, or in a crazier scenario, a title fight.

While Mitrione rides a longer win streak currently, Rothwell is ranked four places ahead of him at ninth in the division. Mitrione is three years older and father time is starting to cramp his style, but he only has 12 pro fights. Rothwell, though three years younger, is a bit shop worn with forty-three pro fights. For both men, it seems like it may be do or die if they ever intend to challenge for the belt.

Mitrione is favored by Vegas to win, but Rothwell is ranked ahead of him for a reason. If Rothwell wins he will most likely land a top five opponent and be within striking distance to the belt. Here is how he can do it.

 Foot Work 

Rothwell’s post-fight victory dance aside, he really has to use good footwork between the bells if he intends to win this. Mitrione is an explosive fighter, and since he started training with the Blackzilians in South Florida, he has shown massive improvements on his feet. If Rothwell can’t keep up, he most likely won’t make it out of the first round.

Chin Strength

While it’s never recommended for a fighter to rely on his chin, especially in the heavyweight division, there’s a good chance that Rothwell’s chin could win this fight. Mitrione has been finishing guys, and finishing them quickly. If Mitrione throws everything he has at Rothwell and it doesn’t put him away there is a big question mark on how Mitrione will deal with that. The last time Mitrione went past round 1, he lost.

Embrace the Rage

Most instructors, trainers, and coaches would advise a fighter to fight without emotion. Rothwell seems to be the exception to that rule. When he gets rocked, what usually follows is absolute rage fueled violence. When you’re a giant, with forty-three pro fights, the rage and experience usually translates to a knockout victory.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.