Ben Rothwell is hunting for gold after earning a second straight win in bare-knuckle competition with a punishing performance to stop Josh Copeland at BKFC 41.
The UFC veteran faced more adversity than he did in his debut with Copeland throwing bombs at him, especially in the first round before Rothwell eventually turned the tables on him. Throughout the second and third rounds, Rothwell was just battering Copeland with punches to the head and body, which opened several cuts on the face.
After Copeland labored to get to the corner at the end of the third round, his coaches made the decision to throw in the towel to stop the fight as Rothwell moved to 2-0 in the BKFC ring.
“Is that what you came to see?” Rothwell shouted to the crowd. “ That was a war. Denver, screw you and your elevation.”
Rothwell got the win but nothing came easy with Copeland gunning for the upset from the first exchange in the fight.
It was Copeland who drew first blood after he cracked Rothwell with a big overhand right hand early that opened a sizable cut under the eye of the Wisconsin native. Copeland was constantly trying to close the distance to negate Rothwell’s size and reach advantage while firing punches from the inside.
In the clinch, Rothwell looked to exert his power but Copeland was doing well trading punch for punch in the exchanges. That game plan was working well until Rothwell connected with a short, stinging right hook that dropped Copeland to the canvas.
Copeland was quick to get back to his feet but Rothwell was on the hunt to capitalize on the knockdown. As the second round was ticking towards a conclusion, Rothwell was really beginning to punish Copeland, especially when he grabbed the back of the neck and unloading a series of uppercuts.
With Copeland’s gas tank running on fumes, Rothwell started digging to the body with a series of punches and then going back up top to the head. There were moments when Rothwell was just teeing off with a barrage of shots but Copeland just refused to go down.
But as Copeland walked slowly back to his corner after absorbing a ton of damage, his coaches saw enough to stop the fight to prevent him from taking any further blows.
Rothwell celebrated his victory and then quickly turned his attention to BKFC heavyweight champion Alan Belcher, who was sitting ringside watching the fights.
“He knows what it is,” Rothwell said addressing Belcher. “BKFC fans, do you want to see me fight for the world BKFC title? There you go, Belcher, You got your answer. If you don’t want to fight me then hand the belt to me now or I’m coming to take it.”