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UFC 145 preview: Brendan Schaub looks to get back in win column against Ben Rothwell

Brendan Schaub(left) will face Ben Rothwell at UFC 145

The UFC 145 event will feature a heavyweight bout between TUF 10 finalist Brenden Schaub and MMA veteran Ben Rothwell.  This is a huge fight for both fighters who are coming off losses in their previous bout, so let’s get right to it and see how this one shakes out.

Ben Rothwell (31-8) comes into this fight after losing to the surging Mark Hunt at UFC 135 via unanimous decision. It was a very lackluster performance by both fighters, but Rothwell gassed really early in the fight and looked really sloppy in the cage that night. Historically, Rothwell is a finisher as he has 17 wins via TKO/KO and 11 wins via submission to his credit. He’s (1-2) in the UFC with losses to former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and the aforementioned Mark Hunt. Rothwell holds notable wins over UFC veterans Roy Nelson, Krzysztof Soszynski, and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.

Brendan Schaub (8-2) comes into this fight after losing to former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134. Schaub was riding a four fight winning streak prior to that fight, but the wins were against aging legends or guys that are no longer in the UFC. Schaub has finished seven of his eight opponents via TKO/KO, but has been stopped via KO in both of his losses.

Schaub is the favorite at (-270) and Rothwell as the underdog at (+220).

I agree with those odds as Schaub is probably on a slightly higher tier than Rothwell at this stage of his career. Rothwell basically has a puncher’s chance to win this fight in my opinion. It’s true that he’s well versed in submissions, but I just don’t see him being able to take Schaub down and keep him there. This fight will play out on the feet unless Schaub decides to put Rothwell on his back as that’s possible if Schaub wants to take advantage of Rothwell’s limited gas tank.

Schaub will have a speed advantage while also knowing that half of Rothwell’s losses have come via TKO/KO. Schaub has big power in his hands and will look to find Rothwell’s chin with the big overhand right he likes to throw. He needs to be careful of getting caught with a big punch from Rothwell as he engages, as Rothwell is capable of putting him away. However, I expect Schaub to gradually wear down Rothwell with lots of movement and strikes before putting him away via TKO later in the fight.

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