Rothwell and Vera squared off as part of the UFC 164 main card, which aired live on pay-per-view from Milwaukee’s Bradley Center on Saturday night.
Vera debuted with the sport’s premier organization as a heavyweight in 2005 and returned to his original division against Rothwell, who had a 21-pound weight advantage.
Entering the bout a year removed from his thrilling fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at light heavyweight, Vera was attempting to prove that he remains a dangerous fighter regardless of weight class.
However, Rothwell’s size and power proved too much for Vera to overcome in his heavyweight return. Vera utilized plenty of movement and kicks to keep Rothwell guessing, which forced him to rush forward in order to find success.
Rothwell’s Achilles' heel in past performances had been his lack of conditioning, but he turned the corner on Saturday night, as he pressed the action and showed no signs of slowing down against the quicker Vera.
The third and final round was all Rothwell’s as he charged forward pressing Vera against the cage, where he unleashed a barrage of strikes that wilted “The Truth” and signaled the end of the fight.
With the victory, Rothwell notched his nineteenth knockout victory and moved to 3-3 inside the Octagon.
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