BKFC President David Feldman announced Rothwell’s scratch, the result of a bad bout with the flu, and Duffee responded by questioning whether his opponent was truly sick.
“I think it’s sad that Ben’s stuck in 2020 and thought this was a stay-at-home job,” Duffee cracked. “It’s terrible.”
Duffee, a well-traveled UFC vet, was scheduled to make his bare-knuckle debut on Saturday against Rothwell, who aimed for his third BKFC win and a title shot.
“I’ve fought with COVID my last fight, so I really think Ben’s real fight is happening with the scale,” Duffee said later. “I think Thanksgiving was his biggest opponent. I don’t know what else to add to that.
“I’ve fought with COVID. I know what that’s like. But you make a commitment, you try to get out there and make it happen. I don’t think Ben by any means is a weak man. Maybe he’s going through something I don’t understand. But I think his biggest fight was Thanksgiving, and that’s where he lost.“
“Like wtf kinda comment is that,” Rothwell wrote. “You knowingly fought with COVID. OK. Let’s just get the fight rebooked in Feb. It’s the only way I want to settle this.
“I have over 50 professional fights and have made weight every single time with no issues. So just stop.”
Feldman announced the heavyweight bare-knuckle fight will be re-booked for February 2024. Stepping in to the co-main event spot is a title rematch between flyweight champ Christine Ferreira and ex-champ Bec Rawlings.