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Ben Rothwell wonders if gamesmanship from Brazilian fans will hurt Stipe Miocic at UFC 198

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Ben Rothwell may be further from the UFC title picture than he would like, but “Big Ben” will be still watching UFC 198 with a keen eye this Saturday.

Rothwell hopes to fight the loser of the heavyweight title clash between UFC champion Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic, which takes place at the 45,000-seat soccer stadium Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil. On Monday, Rothwell said that while he is “rooting” for Miocic to pull the upset, he worries how fighting in enemy territory will affect his fellow Midwesterner.

“I feel like Stipe really has a lot going against him,” Rothwell said on The MMA Hour. “I know he’s fought in Brazil before, but I think this is going to be a whole other animal. He’s not fighting (Fabio) Maldonado. He’s fighting the champion, and he’s fighting the champion on his home turf. I don’t even think Brazil cared about Maldonado when Stipe fought him. No disrespect to him, but it’s not the same as fighting one of their heroes, and Werdum is going to have that crowd the whole week of the fight.”

UFC 198 is setting up to be the biggest mixed martial arts event ever held in Brazil. A cavalcade of Brazilian stars are slated to compete on the card, from Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort to Mauricio Rua and Cris Cyborg. Because of this, Rothwell believes the gamesmanship from excited locals is going to begin from the moment Miocic touches down in Curitiba.

“Stipe is going to be dealing with things the week of the fight,” Rothwell said. “Dude, people mess with you, they do when you’re fighting on someone’s turf. You have to be careful where you go buy your coffee, where you go buy your food. At all times, you’ve got ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting