Ben Rothwell finally has a booking he was looking for, as the UFC announced Tuesday night that he’ll face Josh Barnett at UFC on Fox 18 in New Jersey this January.
Rothwell, riding a three-fight winning streak, had been slated to face Stipe Miocic last month in Dublin before Miocic got hurt. The UFC couldn’t find him a replacement on short notice, and so he asked for a bout with Andrei Arlovski, only for that fight to go to the aforementioned Miocic.
When Mirko Cro Cop was pulled from this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 79 event, Rothwell tried to get himself into that event simply to get a fight. However, the UFC wound up presenting him with this booking, which he happily accepted.
As for Barnett, the 38-year-old made a return to action after nearly two years out in September, defeating Roy Nelson in Japan in the main event of UFC Fight Night 75. It was his first victory since August of 2013.
UFC on Fox 18 takes place from the Prudential Center in Newark on Jan. 30, headlined by the light heavyweight bout between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Ryan Bader.