Josh Barnett (34-7) will face Ben Rothwell (35-9) in the co-main event at UFC on Fox 18 this Saturday in Newark, N.J. Both fighters are ranked in the top eight in the heavyweight division.
“He’s a big, lumbering, just near unstoppable guy,” Barnett said of Rothwell on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “He’s kind of like the human juggernaut. He’s not the fastest, but man, he sure gets the job done. He’s on a (three)-fight win streak, so I think the winner of this fight is going to be looked at towards being the next title contender, in my opinion.”
Rothwell, who has won four of his last five fights, caused a bit of controversy this week, saying that “80 percent or more” of the heavyweight division was taking performance-enhancing drugs before the UFC partnered with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2015.
Rothwell, it is worth noting, was suspended for nine months due to elevated levels of testosterone following his TKO victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 164 in August 2013. Rothwell, 34, was undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) at the time and had a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to compete, but still tested too high.
Barnett, 38, couldn’t help but roll his eyes at Rothwell’s comments, at least a little bit.
“I understand where he’s coming with it,” Barnett said. “I can understand his sentiments, especially with past PED supposed abusers using it. I was just like, well, okay, you got on the sauce – legally, supposedly – and even got in trouble for having too high of a level after a win over Brandon (Vera). But at any rate, it’s just like, man, you got to take testosterone, and you liked it, you son of a gun. So if you’re going to say everybody’s on PEDs, that includes you. It’s just that you had a doctor’s note.”