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Ben Rothwell feels "ripped off" by UFC 104 stoppage

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bjj1605

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Posted by Jackelope

Well, just trying to be realistic about the whole thing here-

It kind of goes with the territory of being a fighter that you have to believe in yourself. You don't want to leave anything out there or any opportunities to be second-guessed. If quitting is in your nature, then chances are you won't be a successful fighter. In that regard I can see exactly where Rothwell is coming from and I applaud his warrior's mentality.

I would never agree that he was winning the fight, lost the 1st round by a small margin, or even stood a chance at winning would the fight have gone on. That's a decision that should be allowed to be made by him, though. There are cases when a stoppage is most certainly warranted, but standing under your own power while taking a beating is not one. On the contrary, collapsed and unable to intelligently defend yourself while on the ground is a situation when the decision should be made by the ref.

These are things I would never expect the generally hyper-reactive average fan to understand, but if you take the hyper-reactive emotions and/or your own personal judgments out of the equation these might be points for you to consider before you pass judgment on Rothwell for making these comments.



I agree with you to a certain extent. I think it is also noteworthy to mention that for his own mentally stability making excuses might be beneficial. I don't mean that in a derogatory way at all. Its just that accepting a loss like that can be hard on a fighter. You train for so long and so hard.... you feel completely confident in your skills.... and then you get mauled. This was not loosing a close decision. It wasn't "just getting caught". He didn't "put him self into a submission." He got dominated from top to bottom. He was utterly controlled and never had a chance to get his own offense going. That can be humiliating and hard to accept for some one with self confidence and pride, or anyone for that matter.

The second part though, specifically that he should be able to make the decision for himself, is somewhat unclear. Yes the fight should be in his hands. In an ideal world refs would be there to make sure the rules are followed and little else. However sometimes a fighter doesn't know when to quit. That warrior mentality you referred to can often be detrimental long term. I'm not suggesting that quitting is a good thing or that a fighter should stop when he feels beaten. Thats why we have refs. At times they need to make the hard call that will get them criticized by fans and fighters alike. But it is necessary to protect the fighter's career from his own strong will and toughness.

I think Steve Mazigatti feel on his sword here. He knew all to well that people would question the stoppage. He had to. Rothwell was not knocked unconscious and was clearly capable of continuing at least a little longer and at least to some extent. He made a decision that was beneficial to the fighter and sacrificed some of his own reputation to do so.

This is by no means an all encompassing assessment and I want you to know I'm really just making the argument to play devil's advocate. But I thought it was important to get both sides of the argument out there.

Post #16   11/3/09 1:56:16PM   

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I agree with you about referees having to make tough decisions. I also thank you for your eloquent and very poignant post. Those are hard to come by, and even if I disagree with them I recognize them for what they are.

I think Rothwell has a legitimate gripe based on the way the fight was stopped. I mean.. he was standing on his own two feet under his own power, and based on his lightning quick reaction of disbelief towards the fight being stopped it is pretty clear he was mentally equipped to go on in the fight. There have been multiple other times when I have agreed with a stoppage, but this was not one.

On the flip side of that coin I'm not going to crucify Mazzagatti for his decision since it was in the fighter's best interest as far as safety is concerned. Besides that I don't normally make a point to crucify any ref. Besides Miragliotta, who I think is the absolute worst ref I've ever seen and an absolute danger to the sport. Or in the case of fights like Matt Brown vs. Pete Sell when it was quite evident Sell was absolutely finished and any further punishment was putting him at a great risk of harm. The difference between that fight and Rothwell's, though was that Rothwell was working his way out of a position and though he was taking shots to the dome he was clearly intelligently defending himself by shoving Cain off of him and standing up from the takedown against the cage. Not to mention he was taking little pepper shots from the clinch from Cain, not absolute bombs like Matt Brown was landing on Pete Sell.

Again, though... what this comes down to is a lack of MMA education on the part of the referees. Do I think a referee has to be a fighter in order to be a good referee? No. Do I think a referee should have at least a solid year of MMA training before he refs? Absolutely.

And anyways, my original point in my original post was a stance of defense for Rothwell's comments. I feel bad for the guy that he didn't at least get to tough out a rough loss or possibly even have his chance to land the one big bomb. A lot of times fighters can gain fans in a loss. Or at least gain fans' respect for their toughness. He didn't even get a chance to do that.

Post #17   11/3/09 2:10:53PM   

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Jackelope I'm pretty sure I have 2 accounts and forget that I commented on a topic already when I read your posts. 9/10 times I agree with everything you say. Think Hughes Trigg 2, Sell Smith, i'm sure there are more if you are still "alive" in a fight you deserve to keep fighting. I DO NOT think Ben would have won that fight but he is a very skilled fighter that could have put a nice shot on Cain or pulled a quick Sub that no one would have seen coming but it happens.

Post #18   11/3/09 4:20:08PM   

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Posted by mentalcase

normally it would be an early but considering what happened before the stoppage it was justified the ref just saved him from more of a beating



Post #19   11/3/09 5:51:43PM   

BustedKnuckle

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Mazzagatti stepedd in early but only robbed rothwell of getting KTFO! Ben will be back and most likey will have a better performance. That fight pretty much put Cain at the top of the pecking order.

Post #20   11/3/09 7:23:35PM   

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i didn't want them to stop it when they did, but i also cannot say that he was gonna recover

Post #21   11/3/09 8:24:05PM   

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Posted by postman

Think Hughes Trigg 2, Sell Smith, i'm sure there are more if you are still "alive" in a fight you deserve to keep fighting.





I don't think those examples are comparable to the Cain-Rothwell fight. Sure they are comebacks, but neither of them were as one sided as Cain-Rothwell. Rothwell took a serious beating for nearly all 5 min. of the first round. He did not look well during the rest either. The ones you mentioned above were either back and fourth or the dominant part was very brief. Neither were the case with Cain-Rothwell.

Maz, talked to him about taking too much damage so Rothwell knew going into the second he couldn't take 5-10 shots to the head to try and set something up. I think that is what needs to be focused on here. The fight was stopped for the safety and well being of the fighter. This business of allowing the fighter to show their warrior spirit is nonsense IMO. The ref's responsibility is the health of the fighter over and above the pride or image of a losing fighter.

Ask yourself the question, if I were the ref would I rather be the ref that people bitched about stopping a fight (like in Rothwell-Cain) or the ref that allowed a fighter to be concussed (or worse) because (the fighter) he was allowed to take unnecessary damage?

I wish the fight was covered by fightmetric because I want to see how many unanswered blows Rothwell took to the head in that fight.


Post #22   11/3/09 9:08:45PM   

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I want to say good post by both Jackelope and bjj1605. I agree Jacklope with you that if you don't think you can win or are winning you will never be that great of a fighter. There is no amount of education or training that can teach that. I feel this is just Ben's way of dealing with his loss. This is something I tell all my new guys when they come in. If you don't think you can do this than you cant. If you don't love this you will fail. If your doing this for fame, money, or girls you will fail. Its just that mindset you must have. That's why I always like guys that wrestled at the collegiate level because they are the ones that have that very mind set and that's one reason they do so well in MMA. Its that drive to be the best and think you are the best or one day will be the best.

Now back to the point. Do I think the stoppages was early, YES. But the outcome was mostly already set in stone and could have even been stopped in the 1st. Ben is not a bad fighter at all but this was by far one of the worst match ups he could have had. A fast HW with a huge gas tank, solid chin, and some of the best wrestling at HW in MMA. Yes Ben did well in the IFL, but lets be honest the IFL's talent level isn't what I would call very high. Ben could very well be a mid level HW fighter but he will never be a top level HW in my eyes.


Now the reason I dont think Ben will ever be high level is because new talent. There is so much new talent coming in to MMA now that the sport has become main stream and a lot of that talent has already made the HW division have so much more depth it isn't even funny. We have seen this in the other weight classes for a while now but true HWs with high athletic ability are rare and every sport wants them. Now that MMA has grown enough to pay as much and has a fans base as large as the NFL, Pro Wrestling, and other sports we will start to see even a bigger influx of HW talent like we are starting to see now.

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Post #23   11/3/09 9:46:06PM   

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Posted by telnights

I feel this is just Ben's way of dealing with his loss.




The fact that he is stating it publicly and in such a metaphoric manner comes off as him trying to save face, not deal with the loss. He is attempting damage control to recover from an embarrassing showing in the UFC. I agree that confidence is important, but one cannot be delusional either.

IMO a good fighter will look at a performance (win or loss) and think, what do I need to do to fix the mistakes or shortcomings of that fight. A good fighter will not take a very poor performance and try to convince themselves (and others) that they lost the fight because of other aspects (i.e ref, etc.) other than their own skill and their opponent's skill.

If Rothwell thinks he was robbed that is fine. He is entitled to his own opinion. However, the article quotes him on more than one occasion that makes it sound like he is convinced that he lost the fight ONLY because of the ref. Had he said, "I thought I wasn't given the benefit of the doubt by the ref, but the fight taught me that I need to work on aspects A, B and C of my game", I wouldn't be typing this.

I will go so far as to say that Ben lost that fight because he was not as good as Cain. If he can't come into terms with that, his tenure with the UFC will be short and full of "Ls" and excuses.

Post #24   11/3/09 10:01:21PM   

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Posted by Rush


Posted by postman

Think Hughes Trigg 2, Sell Smith, i'm sure there are more if you are still "alive" in a fight you deserve to keep fighting.





I don't think those examples are comparable to the Cain-Rothwell fight. Sure they are comebacks, but neither of them were as one sided as Cain-Rothwell. Rothwell took a serious beating for nearly all 5 min. of the first round. He did not look well during the rest either. The ones you mentioned above were either back and fourth or the dominant part was very brief. Neither were the case with Cain-Rothwell.

Maz, talked to him about taking too much damage so Rothwell knew going into the second he couldn't take 5-10 shots to the head to try and set something up. I think that is what needs to be focused on here. The fight was stopped for the safety and well being of the fighter. This business of allowing the fighter to show their warrior spirit is nonsense IMO. The ref's responsibility is the health of the fighter over and above the pride or image of a losing fighter.

Ask yourself the question, if I were the ref would I rather be the ref that people bitched about stopping a fight (like in Rothwell-Cain) or the ref that allowed a fighter to be concussed (or worse) because (the fighter) he was allowed to take unnecessary damage?

I wish the fight was covered by fightmetric because I want to see how many unanswered blows Rothwell took to the head in that fight.





Agreed that both those fights where not the same but pull out the win just as everyone thought it was over was what I was trying to point out. I think Ben was pretty much done I just felt like there where other times in that fight that it could have been stopped. I have seen Nog get smashed and pull out wins I know Nog is a better fighter with more sub skill also. I also agree I rather see it stoped too quick the not quick enough but I would much rather see it stoped at the right time. Letshold these ref to doing their Job right.

Post #25   11/4/09 7:49:12AM   

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Posted by Rush

I will go so far as to say that Ben lost that fight because he was not as good as Cain. If he can't come into terms with that, his tenure with the UFC will be short and full of "Ls" and excuses.



Agreed. I personally don't think Rothwell will last long in the UFC. The competition is just a wee-bit stiffer than in the IFL...

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Post #26   11/4/09 8:41:22AM   

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I think Ben would have gone to sleep eventually,but I can understan him being pissed off.

1.You train your ass off for a fight that gets stopped propably too early.

2.Rothwell probably didn't even realize how big of a beating he was taking during the fight. It's easy to watch the fight and see how bad a guy is getting his butt kicked,but when you're the one in their and your adrenline is pumping and the punches don't feel as big as the really are.Well I can see were the guy might get pissed about it.

Regardless,as I said above Ben was probably going to go to sleep eventually,Mazagatti just saved him the trouble.
Still,I can understand him being pissed.

Post #27   11/4/09 8:59:03AM   

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Ridiculous. Velasquez was beating him to a pulp in my opinion and the ref really just saved him from taking anymore serious damage. Whether he thought it was early or not, it was a justified stoppage. In all honesty I was really surprised it wasn't stopped in the first and personally I think if Cain wanted to he could've easily ended it in the first.

Post #28   11/22/09 8:46:02PM   
 
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