Ben Rothwell was expected to fight Stipe Miocic last month in a title-eliminator in Dublin, Ireland.
When Miocic bowed out due to injury, the UFC informed Rothwell that he would not have a fight.
Now, with nothing but time on his hands, the 34-year-old is staying active in training if the promotion comes calling.
One bout that Rothwell (35-9) is keeping his eye on is the upcoming Junior dos Santos-Alistair Overeem affair. Last year, Rothwell scored a first round TKO over Overeem, and would jump at the chance to replace him vs. the former champion.
“On December 19, if you guys check the media you’ll see that I’ve been very vocal about filling in if Alistair Overeem gets hurt,” he said, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “I said fighting Junior Dos Santos is the fight that I want more than anything. Because to me, he’s the number one contender. He’s the guy that’s ranked right behind the champ and Velasquez. So it’s like, that’s who I asked for originally. Now I know my name is in the hat, that if Overeem or Junior get hurt, I basically said I’m the one that’s going to step in. I told Dana White, ‘as far as your main event goes that night, you don’t have to worry. You’ll have a main event no matter what. Unless both guys get injured’. But as of right now, I’ve been very vocal.
“And obviously with Andrei Arlovski and Stipe, I mean injuries happen and that’s just the beginning of January. Yeah, I gotta be ready for that too. I mean Stipe’s back might go out again, right? It just happened.
“Yeah. I’ve been training this week. Basically, I started training. (As of) Monday, I started training just like I have been training prior to getting ready for the Stipe fight. So yeah, I’m back on it, because look how crazy it is with guys getting injured.”
Since a 2013 loss to Gabriel Gonzaga dropped Rothwell’s UFC record to 2-3, the Wisconsin-native has defeated Matt Mitrione, Overeem and Brandon Vera – all via stoppage.