Rothwell's long rumored opponent was formally announced today as former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, who phoned in to speak with Donald Trump during the Affliction press conference held at the Trump Tower in New York City.
"I'm excited about participating in this new promotion with all of these great fighters," Arlovski said. "I'm looking forward to fighting Ben Rothwell."
By signing with Affliction for three fights, Arlovski (13-5) leaves the UFC after eight years of service. Arlovski was 10-4 with the Las Vegas-based promotion and held the heavyweight belt from February 2005 to April 2006. The Belarus-born fan favorite left the UFC on three consecutive wins.
Rothwell (29-5), a Miletich Fighting Systems product, was the former face of the International Fight League's heavyweight division. The 26-year-old is undefeated in thirteen fights since September 2005.
Affliction has now secured five top ten-caliber heavyweights for its first show on Saturday, July 19 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The main card of "Banned" will air live on pay-per-view while one hour of the undercard will air on Fox Sports Net.
265 lbs. | Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
265 lbs. | Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell
265 lbs. | Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
185 lbs. | Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
205 lbs. | Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead
Fox Sports Net:
265 lbs. | Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Paul Buentello
205 lbs. | Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Vernon "Tiger" White
185 lbs. | Vitor Belfort vs. Terry Martin
145 lbs. | Savant Young vs. Mark Hominick
205 lbs. | Justin Levens vs. Patrick Speight
170 lbs. | Mike Pyle vs. JJ Ambrose