Ben Saunders has entered the UFC Octagon, but come August 23rd, the streak ends. It’s been four years since
Ben ‘Killa B’ Saunders has been one former UFC fighter who did he damnedest not to stop fighting, and, as with many, it has paid off, granting him an invite to the UFC once again. We first saw Ben Saunders compete on The Ultimate Fighter season 6th. Saunders immediatly drew attention due to his long frame and massive size for a welterweight. His Muay Thai clinch and Jeet Kune Do mastery made him a unique fighter, and one who could prove a deadly opponent in the right positions. Saunders made it out of the first round of the tournament but was eventually beaten by finalist Tommy Speer. It was Speer’s wrestling that dominated Saunders, a brief glimpse of what was to come in his UFC career.
After The Ultimate Fighter, Saunders put together a record of 4-3, though he lost two straight to the division’s best in Jon Fitch and the less talented, Dennis Hallman. Saunders was out wrestled and dominated in these fighters, which was enough to force the UFC to cut him. Once out of the UFC, Saunders didn’t quit on the sport as so many have.
Saunders signed with Bellator Fighting championships and compiled a 7-3 record. He competed in 3 different welterweight tournaments for Bellator and reached the finals twice, both times falling to the same man, current Bellator welterweight champion, Douglas Lima. In a way, losing those tournament’s was a blessing in disguise. If Saunders was now the Bellator champion he likely wouldn’t have taken a fight in another organization with the option to sign to the UFC when they called.
This is precisely what happened as Saunders is now officially on the UFC Fight Night 49 card in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Saunders will meet a promotional newcomer in Chris Heatherly. Heatherly, a former Resurrection Fighting Alliance fighter, also canceled a bout in the lesser organization in order to sign with the much more prestigious UFC. Though the betting odds have not come out, it seems as though Saunders has a good shot at winning his second coming to the UFC. With one of the biggest fights of his career coming up, Saunders will definitely be looking to set a precedent with his performance at the end of the month.
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Tags: 49, Ben Saunders, Chris Heatherly, Fight Night, MMA, Welterweight