Ben Rothwell earned a TKO victory over Stefan Struve tonight at UFC On ESPN 7, but the fact that he’d landed two illegal groin kicks that had left his opponent in agony earlier in the fight took much of the shine off his win.
Leg kick for Struve to start. He lands another one. Now a body kick. Flurry of punches from Rothwell, but not finding a home for most of that.
Low kick for Struve. Another kick lands to the leg. Aggressive punch from Struve and then tries a head kick upstairs.
Rothwell presses Struve up against the cage. Rothwell starting to work for a a takedown, but ‘The Skyscraper’ manages to keep his lanky frame upright.
They break apart and Struve lands a head kick. Rothwell seemed slightly wobbled by that, but before Struve can capitalize Rothwell throws a kick that lands illegally to the groin.
Struve is given time to recover but he’s writhing about in agony here. Not to be to graphic, but Struve indicates to the referee that his testicles are up inside him. Not good. To make matters worse the crowd are booing when Struve is down and cheering when he gets up.
Struve eventually says he’s willing to fight on. It remains to be seen if that’s a good decision though as he was clearly in a lot of discomfort.
They get back to it and Rothwell lands hard, but Struve lands a couple of hard kicks of his own. Rothwell presses Struve back into the cage. He’s working the uppercut. Struve with a head kick attempt as Rothwell backs away.
Hard leg kick for Struve. Another lands. Struve backs off and lands a side kick to the body. Rothwell lands a punch but gets caught on the counter. Rothwell working back into the clinch again to end the round.
Both men eager to strike early in the second round. Now it’s Struve who inadvertently strays to the groin with a kick, but Rothwell says he’s fine almost immediately.
Rothwell threatening with punches. He gets into the clinch again.
They break away from that and Struve lands a jab. Now a low kick. Another kick lands. Punch and then a low kick for Struve.
Rothwell back into the clinch against the cage. Short punches to the body from Rothwell and then tries an uppercut upstairs.
Back to striking range they go. Oh no, Rothwell lands another illegal kick flush to the groin and Struve drops to the floor while ‘Big’ Ben hits the cage in frustration at his own mistake.
Struve has another five minutes to recover and as he’s trying to do that as the ref Dan Miragliotta informs him that Rothwell will be deducted a point.
Remarkably Struve is going to fight on. They restart and Rothwell is immediately pouring on the pressure and is throwing heavy punches now rather than kick and it’s paying immediate dividends as he lands with authority and appears to hurt him.
There’s not long until the end of the round but Rothwell smells blood in the water and is going in for the kill here. He checks a Struve leg kick and that hurts his opponent too.
Now Rothwell is wading into range and launches a series of hard uppercuts and Struve wilts and then sinks to the mat. Rothwell blasting more punches down and the ref steps in and waves of the fight.
A TKO victory for Rothwell at 4.57mins then, but you have to feel sorry for Struve in that situation as the groin kicks clearly compromised his ability to fight.