Ben Rothwell preaches unity in the face of violence, unrest in his hometown of Kenosha

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Ben Rothwell isn’t about picking sides. In the wake of violence and unrest in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisc., after police shot Jacob Blake, Rothwell did his best to pass along a message of unity over divisiveness. He posted a photo on his Instagram explaining the meaning behind Black Lives Matter as well as the significance of that phrase, adding “I hope we can come together and have some understanding.” The veteran heavyweight contender also posted a photo standing alongside Kenosha police officers with a message that said “regardless of political views, I hope we can agree that these are some of the most vital people in the country.” According to Rothwell, he felt the need to speak out in hopes of bringing his community back together again rather than watching it be torn apart. “I don’t want to break it out and say the community’s shattered cause that’s how it felt at first,” Rothwell told MMA Fighting during the UFC Fight Island 5 media day. “I feel like things are coming around. People really got together to help each other. “People started to put the pieces together that this whole situation was pretty messed up, and I put myself...and if anybody looked at my social media, I was kind of right in the middle getting ripped to shreds by both sides. Because I love people on both sides. We need to come together, not point fingers. That’s what Kenosha’s more about. We have a lot of people doing a lot of things for each other. People that lost their businesses and stuff like that, [and] the community came together to help. It was really cool to see and I feel like we’re getting through.” In the middle of a very heated presidential election, Rothwell believes that played a major part in the tension that continuously boiled over in the fights between protesters and adversaries. “I kind of blame a lot of the politicians,” Rothwell said. “A lot of this is around an election. Let’s be honest. I’m going to call my governor, he just issued another mandate that businesses can only have 25 percent capacity in Wisconsin. Guess when it ends? Nov. 6. It’s getting even more obvious what this is all about, and it’s pretty sad that this whole thing is about an election and it’s all politics. “Our country is literally at each other’s throats, pointing fingers at each other. I just wish we could slow down and look at the big picture and realize we’re all getting played.” On a more personal level, Rothwell only had to look at the membership in his own gym to know that deep down people aren’t inherently good or evil and common ground can be reached even in the most basic ways. Rothwell spends most of his days training and teaching alongside a diverse group of coaches and students from all walks of life. They put biases aside to help each other while practicing martial arts. “I had the picture with all of our hands in the middle,” Rothwell explained. “As you can see, there’s lots of different colored hands in the middle. That was my gym. People don’t understand me, they don’t know why I’m in this position because I’ve kind of lived in my little bubble in my gym for the last 10 years knowing world peace. “I have so many different people that work together. When they come through the doors, they don’t care where they worked, what they did, we come in there to help each other and it’s a beautiful thing. I wish more of the world could be like mixed martial artists. We’d have more world peace in this place. That’s where it’s at. I just try to be there for the community, too. Just try to put myself out there and do the best we can.” View this post on Instagram I do not support organizations, violence, or destruction. I support the movement for change. I’m just trying to support my friends and have a better understanding of what people are going through and why they feel what they do. I’m looking for unity and instead I see nothing but division. I had many great conversations that brought me here, all I ask is everyone bashing me should go and speak with others to understand what they are going through and why they feel what they are. Listen , be compassionate and see if you feel differently after. #unity A post shared by Ben Rothwell (@rothwellfighter) on Aug 28, 2020 at 4:35pm PDT While he understands there’s no perfect answer to sooth the tension that exists in the world right now, Rothwell loves that he’s been able to turn back to martial arts as a refuge of sorts during a really tough time in the United States. “Mixed martial arts is a godsend – it saved my life,” Rothwell said. “We got our kids classes going again. To see what it does for children, learning real defense and they build confidence and to stop bullying and to learn to work together. For the adults, they come in and they get their stress relief and all of the adults have this going on in Kenosha. “They come into our gym and just have peace, train together to help each other and to have that. It’s r

Ben Rothwell preaches unity in the face of violence, unrest in his hometown of Kenosha
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ben Rothwell isn’t about picking sides.

In the wake of violence and unrest in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisc., after police shot Jacob Blake, Rothwell did his best to pass along a message of unity over divisiveness.

He posted a photo on his Instagram explaining the meaning behind Black Lives Matter as well as the significance of that phrase, adding “I hope we can come together and have some understanding.”

The veteran heavyweight contender also posted a photo standing alongside Kenosha police officers with a message that said “regardless of political views, I hope we can agree that these are some of the most vital people in the country.”

According to Rothwell, he felt the need to speak out in hopes of bringing his community back together again rather than watching it be torn apart.

“I don’t want to break it out and say the community’s shattered cause that’s how it felt at first,” Rothwell told MMA Fighting during the UFC Fight Island 5 media day. “I feel like things are coming around. People really got together to help each other.

“People started to put the pieces together that this whole situation was pretty messed up, and I put myself...and if anybody looked at my social media, I was kind of right in the middle getting ripped to shreds by both sides. Because I love people on both sides. We need to come together, not point fingers. That’s what Kenosha’s more about. We have a lot of people doing a lot of things for each other. People that lost their businesses and stuff like that, [and] the community came together to help. It was really cool to see and I feel like we’re getting through.”

In the middle of a very heated presidential election, Rothwell believes that played a major part in the tension that continuously boiled over in the fights between protesters and adversaries.

“I kind of blame a lot of the politicians,” Rothwell said. “A lot of this is around an election. Let’s be honest. I’m going to call my governor, he just issued another mandate that businesses can only have 25 percent capacity in Wisconsin. Guess when it ends? Nov. 6. It’s getting even more obvious what this is all about, and it’s pretty sad that this whole thing is about an election and it’s all politics.

“Our country is literally at each other’s throats, pointing fingers at each other. I just wish we could slow down and look at the big picture and realize we’re all getting played.”

On a more personal level, Rothwell only had to look at the membership in his own gym to know that deep down people aren’t inherently good or evil and common ground can be reached even in the most basic ways.

Rothwell spends most of his days training and teaching alongside a diverse group of coaches and students from all walks of life. They put biases aside to help each other while practicing martial arts.

“I had the picture with all of our hands in the middle,” Rothwell explained. “As you can see, there’s lots of different colored hands in the middle. That was my gym. People don’t understand me, they don’t know why I’m in this position because I’ve kind of lived in my little bubble in my gym for the last 10 years knowing world peace.

“I have so many different people that work together. When they come through the doors, they don’t care where they worked, what they did, we come in there to help each other and it’s a beautiful thing. I wish more of the world could be like mixed martial artists. We’d have more world peace in this place. That’s where it’s at. I just try to be there for the community, too. Just try to put myself out there and do the best we can.”

View this post on Instagram

I do not support organizations, violence, or destruction. I support the movement for change. I’m just trying to support my friends and have a better understanding of what people are going through and why they feel what they do. I’m looking for unity and instead I see nothing but division. I had many great conversations that brought me here, all I ask is everyone bashing me should go and speak with others to understand what they are going through and why they feel what they are. Listen , be compassionate and see if you feel differently after. #unity

A post shared by Ben Rothwell (@rothwellfighter) on

While he understands there’s no perfect answer to sooth the tension that exists in the world right now, Rothwell loves that he’s been able to turn back to martial arts as a refuge of sorts during a really tough time in the United States.

“Mixed martial arts is a godsend – it saved my life,” Rothwell said. “We got our kids classes going again. To see what it does for children, learning real defense and they build confidence and to stop bullying and to learn to work together. For the adults, they come in and they get their stress relief and all of the adults have this going on in Kenosha.

“They come into our gym and just have peace, train together to help each other and to have that. It’s really an awesome thing. I’m forever an ambassador of mixed martial arts. It saved my life.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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With UFC title shot uncertain, Marlon Moraes vows to ‘win and convince’ against Cory Sandhagen

Marlon Moraes (pictured, red gloves) headlines UFC Fight Island 5 against Cory Sandhagen this Saturday | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting “Magic” Marlon Moraes is in a tricky position in the UFC bantamweight division. First, he beat four high-level opponents in a row to earn a chance to compete for the 135-pound gold. But then he came up short versus Henry Cejudo. He bounced back with a close decision win over Jose Aldo six months later, but saw the UFC grant Aldo—rather than the winner—a shot at the then-vacant belt. Ten months later, Moraes finally re-enters the octagon to face Cory Sandhagen in the main event of UFC Fight Island 5 on Saturday night. Sandhagen, by the way, lost his previous bout to Aljamain Sterling, a man whom Moraes flattened in the past but worked his way up to become Yan’s next challenger. The Brazilian appears to be in no man’s land in the bantamweight division, and he isn’t quite sure if a title shot is at stake in Abu Dhabi with the winner going on to face the winner of a presumed title matchup between champ Petr Yan and Sterling. “You can’t know for sure.” Moraes said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I just want to go there, win and convince. [The] future belongs to the UFC, [and] what I want is to go there and leave my mark. “I’m up there, I’m in the mix. I’ll fight, and everything depends on your last performance. I’ll have an opportunity and I’m the one that makes the call, the way I fight and my performance next Saturday [will determine] what happens with my career.” The UFC has yet to set a date for Yan vs. Sterling, and Moraes wants to cement his place as the next contender. Magic has no preference of an opponent between Yan and Sterling, only wanting to stay active and “fight the best.” “Man, it’s a tough fight, anyone can win,” Moraes said of a clash between the Russian champion and “Funk Master.” “Sterling is a great fighter, but it’s a tough fight to predict. If it stays on the feet, Yan wins. If it goes to the ground, I think Sterling wins. I think it’s 50-50.” The Nova Friburgo native must get past Sandhagen first, though, and finds motivation in “doing what I love” while uncertainty surrounds the championship picture. “I fight since I was little, and now I’m fighting in the world’s biggest promotion, so that’s my biggest motivation,” Moraes said. “Having the opportunity to fight against one of the best fighters in Cory, I’m also thankful for the opportunity of fighting on Fight Island. There are other reasons that motivate me other than the belt and not getting the Petr Yan fight… That’s in the future. “I think about that, but now I think about the opportunity of fighting Cory, one of the best of the division, and showing everyone I’m one of the best of the division.” Moraes says “of course” nothing changed for him after the Aldo title snub and added, “I’ll give my best and do what I know, which is fight.” “This is a MMA fight and it can end anywhere,” said the Brazilian, who is confident he can get the job done on the ground after Sandhagen’s recent first-round submission defeat to Sterling. “I’m ready to fight him everywhere. We know there was this opening there and it might happen again. I’m ready to grapple or strike with him.”

With UFC title shot uncertain, Marlon Moraes vows to ‘win and convince’ against Cory Sandhagen
Marlon Moraes (pictured, red gloves) headlines UFC Fight Island 5 against Cory Sandhagen this Saturday | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

“Magic” Marlon Moraes is in a tricky position in the UFC bantamweight division.

First, he beat four high-level opponents in a row to earn a chance to compete for the 135-pound gold. But then he came up short versus Henry Cejudo. He bounced back with a close decision win over Jose Aldo six months later, but saw the UFC grant Aldo—rather than the winner—a shot at the then-vacant belt.

Ten months later, Moraes finally re-enters the octagon to face Cory Sandhagen in the main event of UFC Fight Island 5 on Saturday night. Sandhagen, by the way, lost his previous bout to Aljamain Sterling, a man whom Moraes flattened in the past but worked his way up to become Yan’s next challenger.

The Brazilian appears to be in no man’s land in the bantamweight division, and he isn’t quite sure if a title shot is at stake in Abu Dhabi with the winner going on to face the winner of a presumed title matchup between champ Petr Yan and Sterling.

“You can’t know for sure.” Moraes said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I just want to go there, win and convince. [The] future belongs to the UFC, [and] what I want is to go there and leave my mark.

“I’m up there, I’m in the mix. I’ll fight, and everything depends on your last performance. I’ll have an opportunity and I’m the one that makes the call, the way I fight and my performance next Saturday [will determine] what happens with my career.”

The UFC has yet to set a date for Yan vs. Sterling, and Moraes wants to cement his place as the next contender. Magic has no preference of an opponent between Yan and Sterling, only wanting to stay active and “fight the best.”

“Man, it’s a tough fight, anyone can win,” Moraes said of a clash between the Russian champion and “Funk Master.” “Sterling is a great fighter, but it’s a tough fight to predict. If it stays on the feet, Yan wins. If it goes to the ground, I think Sterling wins. I think it’s 50-50.”

The Nova Friburgo native must get past Sandhagen first, though, and finds motivation in “doing what I love” while uncertainty surrounds the championship picture.

“I fight since I was little, and now I’m fighting in the world’s biggest promotion, so that’s my biggest motivation,” Moraes said. “Having the opportunity to fight against one of the best fighters in Cory, I’m also thankful for the opportunity of fighting on Fight Island. There are other reasons that motivate me other than the belt and not getting the Petr Yan fight… That’s in the future.

“I think about that, but now I think about the opportunity of fighting Cory, one of the best of the division, and showing everyone I’m one of the best of the division.”

Moraes says “of course” nothing changed for him after the Aldo title snub and added, “I’ll give my best and do what I know, which is fight.”

“This is a MMA fight and it can end anywhere,” said the Brazilian, who is confident he can get the job done on the ground after Sandhagen’s recent first-round submission defeat to Sterling. “I’m ready to fight him everywhere. We know there was this opening there and it might happen again. I’m ready to grapple or strike with him.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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