Michael Dylan Rowbotham was born in Mississauga, Ontario, on July 15, 1989. At age 3 he moved to Alcona, Ontario where he spent most of his childhood. Self described as a "fat kid who got picked last in gym class," while both his brothers excelled in many sports including hockey. Reportedly, he never did well in sports until the 6th grade after relocating to Barrie, Ontario.
Achieving regional success in volleyball, basketball, hockey and track and field, he went on to play football for Barrie Central Collegiate Institute under Coach Ed Leech. It was here that Rowbotham met gym teacher and former CIS Wrestling Champion Brad Chestnut, and Nicholas Cryer who would play key roles in his life for the next four years. Rowbotham then began his high-school wrestling career, finishing with an outstanding 78-8 record.
Move to MMA
In his last year of High School, Rowbotham began training Gary Goodridge. After graduating high school, he moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario and began training with the Leading Edge Gym. His initial dip into the MMA pool was done very discretely, without the knowledge or consent of his parents. Tutored and cornered by his brother, Steve, the rest of his family wasn't aware of his new passion until after his first professional bout.
October 21, 2007 - Hardcore Championship Fighting - Tim Smith
Mike made his professional MMA debut in the middleweight (185 lbs) division, losing his premier match by a split decision to Tim Smith at Hardcore Championship Fighting: Title Wave on October 21, 2007.
In April 2008, Mike returned to Barrie, ON and continued his MMA training with Fight World under the instruction of Carlos Garay and Bernie Antle among others. His MMA skills ever growing, he accepted his 2nd MMA fight.
June 20, 2008 - Raw Combat - Mike Zvonick
Mike took on a very game opponent in Mike Zvonick. After getting caught by a quick flurry early on, the fight went to the ground where Mike was very dominant moving from a triangle to an armbar to finally coax a tapout from the Hometown boy.
October 25, 2008 - Raw Combat - Keto Allen
On October 25, 2008, Rowbotham lost to the undefeated Keto Allen via submission. After falling victim to an onslaught of strikes, Rowbotham landed a takedown and secured the full mount. An unsuccessful armbar attempt put Rowbo on his back for the duration of Round 1. Early in round two Allen landed a liver kick that visibly hurt Rowbotham. Followed with a takedown and repeated strikes to the liver, Rowbotham was forced to submit at 1:40 of Round 2.
January 24, 2009 - Rumble in the Cage - Neil Berry
Mike faced a very tough test in Neil Berry at the Roadhouse in Lethbridge, AB. Neil had much more experience having taken on quality opponents in the past, including UFC vet Jason MacDonald. After a scary start to the first round, the two put on a grappling clinic on the ground switching from submission to submission. Mike finally locked up a fight ending armbar and Berry played the 3-tap symphony.
April 11, 2009 - Rumble in the Cage - Dan Chambers
On April 11, Mike took on tough veteran, Dan Chambers. Having looked up to Chambers for a few years, this was a big fight for Mike, emotionally and in securing his place in the middleweight ladder. Dan took the fight to Mike early landing punches, knees and kicks. On the ground, with Chambers in top position, Mike set up a triangle choke before being slammed. The slam only tightened the choke, and Chambers was forced to tap out at 3:46 of Round 1.
May 30, 2009 - The Fight Club - Luke Harris
On May 7, Mike accepted a fight with former King of the Cage Middleweight Champion, and Judo Olympian, Luke Harris with just over three weeks notice. The fight was at a catch weight of 192 lbs. The fighters started off trading punches and ended up in the clinch working some dirty boxing when Harris got a single leg takedown. Some grappling ensued and as Mike went for a triangle, Harris landed an elbow that opened up a big gash on Mike's eyebrow. The fight was stopped but they were allowed to continue. The fight went to the mat again and Harris snatched up an armbar victory.
|3 Wins , 4 Losses|
|05/12/2009||Loss||3-4-0||Victor Bachman ||TFC 9: Total Chaos||TKO (Referee Stoppage)||2||5:00||Unable to continue after round 2 with broken orbital bone|
|30/05/2009||Loss||3-3-0||Luke Harris ||TFC 7: Full Throttle||Submission (Armbar)||1||2:38|
|04/11/2009||Win||3-2-0||Dan Chambers ||Rumble In The Cage 34||Submission (Triangle Choke)||1||3:46|
|01/24/2009||Win||2-2-0||Neil Berry ||Rumble In The Cage 33||Submission (Armbar)||1||3:16|
|10/25/2008||Loss||1-2-0||22px Keto Allen ||Raw Combat: Redemption||Submission (Kick to Body)||2||1:40|
|06/20/2008||Win||1-1-0||22px Mike Zvonick ||Raw Combat: Resurrection||Submission (Armbar)||1||2:14|
|03/30/2007||Loss||0-1-0||Tim Smith ||HCF: Title Wave||Decision (Split)||3||5:00|