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LOS ANGELES – It goes down as a victory for Ben Rothwell, but Saturday’s anticipated BKFC KnuckleMania 4 showdown with Todd Duffee wasn’t what he wanted.

Rothwell (3-0) and fellow former UFC heavyweight Duffee (0-1) came out firing after the opening bell, with Rothwell knocking down Duffee twice in the first 0:43 seconds of their bout at Peacock Theater. The second time proved to be the finish as Duffee suffered an apparent right shoulder injury when he fell to the canvas. He immediately pointed to it, forcing referee Dan Miragliota to wave off the fight.

Rothwell, whom Duffee laid into verbally after he fell ill and pulled out of their originally scheduled bout last December, expressed his frustration afterward.

“No, I came here to knock him the f*ck out for all of you,” Rothwell said during his post-fight interview. “He clipped my nose, and I was about to get my payback. He got hit the first time he got knocked down, and the fight was already over there. I just needed to get one good connection, and this would’ve been a good, clean knockout. I can’t control my opponent.

I’m sorry to everybody, man. I came here to perform. You can see the work I put in. I came here to get myself into a title fight.”

Whether or not that’ll happen after a victory earned because of an injury remains to be seen, but Rothwell took his shot on microphone.

“Of course, (a title shot) is what I want,” Rothwell said. “But the performance got taken away from me just now. I think everybody knows what I’m about and what I was going to do. Thank you. The fans of BKFC know because I’m fighting for all of you. I’m going to get that belt. I’m going to go in there and sign every autograph and take every photo I can with all of you. This is what I do it for.”

In addition to a disappointment for Rothwell through no fault of his own, the fight was even more so for Duffee, whose return to MMA after a four-year hiatus didn’t go well last year as he lost by first-round TKO to KSW champion Phil De Fries in February 2023. Now he’s followed that up with an unfortunate injury defeat in his BKFC debut.

Author: Staff

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