Ion Cutelaba can’t re-enter the country, I’m told, so one fight that they are looking to add to that new May 13 card is OSP vs Rothwell at heavyweight.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 24, 2020
Not long after Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announced a series of new events in May, we have our first new matchup in the works.
On Friday, ESPN first announced that a heavyweight battle between Ovince St. Preux (24-13) and Ben Rothwell (37-12) is being planned for the upcoming May 13 Fight Night card. St. Preux was originally booked to face Ion Cutelaba at the previously scheduled April 18 event, but due to travel restrictions Cutelaba will not be able to enter the U.S.
St. Preux will be making his return to heavyweight at this event, with much his career including all of his fights in a major promotion taking place in the light heavyweight division. “OSP” snapped a two-fight skid by tapping Michal Oleksiejczuk with a Von Preux -- also known as the Von Flue -- shoulder choke in September 2019. By submitting his Polish opponent in such a fashion, “OSP” tied the record for the most submissions in UFC light heavyweight history. He accounts for four of the six Von Flue chokes in promotional history.
Rothwell also snapped a losing streak in his most recent outing in December, where he knocked out Stefan Struve in a foul-ridden appearance. In that bout, Rothwell landed multiple groin strikes and lost a point in the process, but managed to finish Struve at the end of the second frame. Prior to the victory, Rothwell had dropped three consecutive unanimous verdicts to Junior dos Santos, Blagoy Ivanov and Andrei Arlovski. In that span, he also served a two-year suspension after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
The event, currently slated as UFC Fight Night 171, will take place on May 13. Like the card that precedes it as well as the one that follows it, it will go down at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. No other bouts have yet been announced for this rare Wednesday card, although White has stated that further fight announcements will be coming soon.