Saturday night’s BKFC 56 has taken a heavy blow, as heavyweight Ben Rothwell is off the card.
Rothwell was expected to throw down with fellow UFC alum Todd Duffee at the event, which takes place at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Another pair of former UFC notables, Eddie Alvarez and Mike Perry, headline the show.
Rothwell’s withdrawal from the event was announced by BKFC President David Feldman during Thursday’s BKFC 56 press conference.
Oddly enough, Rothwell vs. Duffee was announced as the presser got underway, though only Duffee appeared on stage.
“I do have an unfortunate announcement to make,” Feldman said after taking the mic. “Our co-main event, Ben Rothwell actually came down really, really sick this morning, and he’s not going to be able to compete. We tried to get a last-minute replacement for Todd Duffee, and we just couldn’t line it up, so we’re going to push that fight to February. Sorry to the fans for that one, but we still have a stacked card, an unbelievable main event, and really a lot to be excited about here in Salt Lake City.”
Duffee did not hold back after the news was announced.
“I fought with COVID my last fight, so I really think Ben’s real fight is happening with the scale,” Duffee said. “I think Thanksgiving was his biggest opponent. I don’t know what else to really add to that.”
Todd Duffee was to make his bare-knuckle debut in the fight. The heavyweight has had a rough time getting fights to stay together, and saw an opportunity to fight in RIZIN earlier this year fall through due to visa issues. Before that, he had a fight lined up with Adam Koresh in Israel, but didn’t receive a contract in time. The ex-UFC star did get one fight in under his belt in 2023, losing to a former foe in Phil De Fries under the KSW banner.
“Big” Ben Rothwell is 2-0 under the BKFC banner to date.
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