Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that verbal agreements are in place with contracts expected to be finalized for a Nov. 13 UFC event. The venue and location of the event have not been finalized, though Fight Night events have resided at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas since the promotion restarted its schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Rothwell most recently appeared in the octagon in May when he submitted up-and-comer Chris Barnett. The fight was made on short notice after heavyweight vet Philipe Lins withdrew from the Fight Night event, marking the third time the Brazilian was unable to make it into the cage with Rothwell.
Rothwell’s most recent win put him back on the right foot after a decision loss to Marcin Tybura snapped a two-fight winning streak.
In de Lima, Rothwell meets a heavyweight who’s seesawed between wins and losses over seven years with the UFC. The Brazilian has consistently beaten unheralded competition while falling short to marquee opponents. Most recently, de Lima outpointed Maurice Greene to get back in the win column after a submission loss to Alexander Romanov.