After each lost their debut in the UFC, both Ben Rothwell and Gilbert Yvel knew that they had to win at UFC 115 to ensure their survival in the promotion.
Rothwell appeared to take that to heart and came out strongly with punches and then took Yvel down easily. The mat would be where much of the fight would take place, but though Rothwell passed Yvel’s guard easily and found himself in the mount position often he couldn’t make him pay for it.
To his credit Yvel tried everything to get back to his feet, including successfully rolling out of a crucifix to sweeping Rothwell with an americana from the bottom. At time he even used brute strength to push of his considerably heavier opponent.
In the second roundYvel had perhaps the best chance to win the fight, hurting ‘Big Ben’ on the feet and then dropping bombs on him from top position, but Rothwell’s chin kept him in the fight and he survived until the end of the round.
Both men were extremely tired by the third round, and with Rothwell on top Yvel had nothing left in his gas tank to manufacture another escape, allowing the bigger man to win the round, and subsequently the fight by unanimous decision.
It was a dominant but at times sloppy performance from Rothwell, but he secured his first win in the octagon nonetheless.
As for Yvel, he’s not 2-0 in the UFC and may now be at risk of being cut.