Taking on late replacement Chris Barnett on Saturday night, Rothwell was looking sharp and powerful with his hands but it was ultimately a failed takedown attempt that led to the Wisconsin native latching onto his signature submission that earned him the tap at 2:07 in the second round.
Whether his “gogo” choke is acknowledged or not, Rothwell picked up yet another impressive submission win to move to 3-1 in his past four fights.
“This was very much a must win,” Rothwell said about his victory. “What’s the saying? Super necessary? My back was against the wall. I had to show the UFC’s another level.”
Despite taking on a much shorter opponent, Rothwell was still wary of the power coming back from Barnett, who was swinging with wild power on the feet. In return, Rothwell was much more calculated with his combinations, throwing knees up the middle and blasting Barnett with several hard uppercuts throughout the fight.
“I love uppercuts,” Rothwell said about his most effective punch in the fight. “Sorry you haven’t seen more of them because they end people. That’s how I try to fight everybody. I’m going to make everybody worry about what I’m going to do.”
Just when it looked like Rothwell was going to end the fight with one of those punches, Barnett made an ill-fated takedown attempt to survive but that ultimately led to the “gogo” choke being applied and the fight ending just a few seconds later.
A mainstay on the UFC roster since 2009, Rothwell proved he can still hang with just about anybody in the heavyweight division as he adds yet another victory to his resume.