Ben Saunders (fighter)
April 13, 1983 |
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
|Other names||Killa B|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)|
|Reach||77.5 in (197 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Coconut Creek, Florida, United States|
|Team||American Top Team (2006-present)
Gracie Barra Orlando (2004-2005)
|Rank||Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Ricardo Libório|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Benjamin Saunders (born April 13, 1983), is an American mixed martial artist who currently fights in the Welterweight division of the UFC. He was a featured fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra, fighting on Team Serra. A professional competitor since 2004, Saunders has also formerly competed for Bellator.
Saunders was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he lived until he was in the third grade when he moved to Coral Springs, Florida. Saunders parents were divorced, and as a result he lived with his father. His older brother, Jacob, who practiced karate, helped teach his younger brother about the martial art. When Saunders was eight years old, he had a friend who was learning Tae Kwon Do, which the two soon began practicing daily. However, due to poor financial status Saunders was unable to pay for legitimate instruction. At the age of 14, Saunders began training in Jeet Kune Do and worked at fast food restaurants so that he could pay the tuition. He worked out with his high school wrestling team where he learned wrestling techniques in exchange for submission techniques that he knew. Saunders, although not an instigator of street fights, did not back down from challenges and was also involved in countless street fights while growing up. At the age of 18, Saunders told his parents that he was leaving for college, when in fact he was going to train with Din Thomas to become a professional fighter.
Mixed martial arts career
The Ultimate Fighter
Saunders defeated Dan Barrera in the first round of the competition by majority decision. Saunders reportedly contracted influenza after the Barrera bout. Despite the illness, Saunders competed in the quarter-finals against Tom Speer, losing via unanimous decision.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Saunders defeated Dan Barrera at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs Team Serra Finale by unanimous decision.
In his second career UFC fight, Saunders defeated UFC newcomer Ryan Thomas by armbar in the second round.
In his third career UFC fight he fought Brandon Wolff, defeating him in the first round via TKO with knees from the Thai clinch, landing 42 knees on his opponent. This left Wolff's face a bloody and swollen mess. After the bout many comparisons were made between him and Anderson Silva, who is also known for his Thai clinch prowess.
Saunders' next fight was supposed to be at UFC 96 against Welterweight standout Dustin Hazelett, but due to injury Hazelett pulled out of the match. Saunders was then set to face UFC newcomer Ryan Madigan. However, Saunders later pulled out of the match due to an injured foot.
On February 28, 2009, it was confirmed that Saunders would be facing Mike Swick at UFC 99. Saunders was defeated by Swick by TKO in the second round. As Swick struck, Saunders ducked into Swick's striking range every time which essentially cost him the fight.
Saunders was expected to face off against top ten welterweight Martin Kampmann at UFC 111 in March. However, an injury forced Kampmann off the card and Saunders was set to face Jake Ellenberger. On March 25, 2010, news broke that Thiago Alves's pre-fight CT scan found an irregularity in his brain, and he was not cleared to fight. Saunders asked to fight Alves's opponent and former #1 contender Jon Fitch, forcing Saunder's opponent Ellenberger out of the match. Saunders lost to Fitch by unanimous decision.
On February 3, it was announced by Bellator that they had signed Saunders to compete in their Welterweight division. Although he will not be a part of the Season Four Tournament, Saunders fights aired live on the main card.
At Bellator 39 Saunders defeated Matt Lee by TKO (doctor stoppage) in the third round after brutalizing Lee in the clinch with knees and elbows for most of the fight.
Saunders was expected to face Rick Hawn at Bellator 49. But Hawn later pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury. Saunders instead fought replacement Chris Cisneros. Saunders won by TKO in the third round.
In the semifinals, Saunders faced Luis Santos at Bellator 53. After getting taken down in the beginning of the first round, Saunders controlled the round by stifling Santos' offense and going for many submission attempts, transitioning from the reverse triangle to the omoplata. The second round played out in similar fashion with Saunders almost getting an omoplata and a carni on two separate occasions. Saunders eventually submitted his opponent via americana armlock transitioning from an arm triangle attempt while in half guard in the third round.
Saunders was scheduled to face Douglas Lima in a rematch in the tournament final at Bellator 93. However, Lima broke his hand so the match was rescheduled for later this year. Saunders eventually faced Lima on September 20, 2013 at Bellator 100. He lost the fight via knockout due to a head kick in the second round. After the loss, Saunders was released from the promotion.
Titan Fighting Championships
In June 2014, Saunders signed with Titan Fighting Championships. For his first fight with the promotion, Saunders was scheduled face UFC veteran Matt Riddle for the vacant TFC Welterweight Championship at Titan FC 29 on August 22, 2014. Riddle, however, withdrew from the bout and was replaced by MMA veteran Jose Landi-Jons. However, that fight was cancelled when Titan FC granted Saunders permission to return to the UFC.
Return to the UFC
On August 7, 2014, it was announced that Saunders would return to fight for the UFC. Saunders faced promotional newcomer Chris Heatherly on August 23, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 49. He was successful in his return, winning the fight in the first round with the first successful omoplata submission in the UFC. The impressive victory also earned Saunders his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Championships and accomplishments
- Bellator Fighting Championships
- Combat Fighting Championships
- CFC Welterweight Championship (One time)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|26 matches||18 wins||6 losses|
|Win||18–6–2||Joe Riggs||TKO (neck injury)||UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic||December 13, 2014||1||0:57||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||17–6–2||Chris Heatherly||Submission (omoplata)||UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos||August 23, 2014||1||2:18||Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States||Performance of the Night|
|Loss||16–6–2||Douglas Lima||KO (head kick)||Bellator 100||September 20, 2013||2||4:33||Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Bellator Season Eight Welterweight Tournament Final|
|Win||16–5–2||Raul Amaya||KO (head kick)||Bellator 90||February 21, 2013||1||2:56||West Valley City, Utah, United States||Bellator Season Eight Welterweight Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||15–5–2||Koffi Adzitso||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 86||January 24, 2013||3||5:00||Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States||Bellator Season Eight Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Win||14–5–2||Brian Warren||TKO (knees)||Bellator 72||July 20, 2012||1||0:22||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Loss||13–5–2||Bryan Baker||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 67||May 4, 2012||3||5:00||Rama, Ontario, Canada||Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||13–4–2||Raul Amaya||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 63||March 30, 2012||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Loss||12–4–2||Douglas Lima||KO (punches)||Bellator 57||November 12, 2011||2||1:21||Rama, Ontario, Canada||Bellator Season Five Welterweight Tournament Final|
|Win||12–3–2||Luis Santos||Submission (americana)||Bellator 53||October 8, 2011||3||1:45||Miami, Oklahoma, United States||Bellator Season Five Welterweight Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||11–3–2||Chris Cisneros||TKO (knee and punches)||Bellator 49||September 10, 2011||3||0:29||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Bellator Season Five Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Win||10–3–2||Matt Lee||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Bellator 39||April 2, 2011||3||1:24||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||9–3–2||Elijah Harshbarger||Submission (punches & elbows)||WEF: Saunders vs. Harshbarger||November 6, 2010||1||4:21||Kissimmee, Florida, United States|
|Loss||8–3–2||Dennis Hallman||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 117||August 7, 2010||3||5:00||Oakland, California, United States|
|Loss||8–2–2||Jon Fitch||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 111||March 27, 2010||3||5:00||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||8–1–2||Marcus Davis||KO (knees)||UFC 106||November 21, 2009||1||3:24||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||7–1–2||Mike Swick||TKO (punches)||UFC 99||June 13, 2009||2||3:47||Cologne, Germany|
|Win||7–0–2||Brandon Wolff||TKO (knees)||UFC: Fight for the Troops||December 10, 2008||1||1:49||Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||6–0–2||Ryan Thomas||Submission (armbar)||UFC 87||August 10, 2008||2||2:28||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||5–0–2||Dan Barrera||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale||December 8, 2007||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||4–0–2||Charles Blanchard||Submission (armbar)||Combat Fighting Championships 3||February 17, 2007||1||0:46||Orlando, Florida, United States||Won the CFC Welterweight Championship.|
|Win||3–0–2||Kenny Stevens||TKO (punches)||Combat Fighting Championship 1||July 15, 2006||3||3:05||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||2–0–2||Rick Delvecchio||KO (head kick)||Absolute Fighting Championships 15||February 18, 2006||1||4:31||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Win||1–0–2||Reggie Pena||Submission (triangle choke)||Absolute Fighting Championships 14||December 12, 2005||1||1:12||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Draw||0–0–2||Diego Lionel Vitosky||Draw||Absolute Fighting Championships 12||April 30, 2005||2||5:00||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Draw||0–0–1||Crafton Wallace||Draw||Absolute Fighting Championships 8||May 1, 2004||2||5:00||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
- "Bio - Ben "Killa B" Saunders". bensaundersmma.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- Meltzer, Dave (2007-08-27). "Participants in Ultimate Fighter season six are announced". Los Angeles Times.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- "Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders signed for UFC 99". Five Ounces of Pain.
- "UFC 106 Results: Ben Saunders Knees Out Marcus Davis". 2009-11-21. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
- "Kampmann out, Ellenberger faces Saunders at UFC 111 in March". MMAjunkie.
- "Jon Fitch replaces Jake Ellenberger, meets Ben Saunders on UFC 111 main card". MMAjunkie.
- "Dennis Hallman faces Ben Saunders at UFC 117". mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-05.
- "UFC 117: Ben Saunders Cut from the UFC Following Loss to Dennis Hallman". Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Ben Saunders Cut By The UFC". Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Bellator signs UFC vet Ben Saunders for non-tourney fights". MMAjunkie.
- "Saunders Sidelined, Scratched from Bellator’s Canadian Debut". Retrieved 6 July 2011.
- "Ben Saunders vs. Rick Hawn Highlights Bellator's Welterweight Tournament Field". Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- "Hawn Injures Knee, Withdraws from Bellator Tournament". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Cisneros Replaces Injured Hawn in Bellator Welterweight Draw". Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Bellator's Douglas Lima Breaks Hand, Tourney Final With Saunders Moves To Summer". mmajunkie.com. March 5, 2013.
- "Ben Saunders vs. Matt Riddle set for Titan FC welterweight title fight". bloodyelbow.com. June 25, 2014.
- "With Titan FC's blessing, Ben Saunders returns to UFC". MMAfighting.com. August 7, 2014.
- Jason Floyd (2014-08-11). "Ben Saunders returns to the UFC in two weeks, meets Chris Heatherly at UFC Fight Night 49". themmareport. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
- MMAJunkie.com Staff (2014-08-24). "UFC Fight Night 49 bonuses: Four fighters get $50,000 'Performance' awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- Matt Erickson (2014-09-22). "Joe Riggs meets Ben Saunders at UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
- Guilherme Cruz (2015-01-22). "Ben Saunders vs. Erick Silva added to UFC Fight Night 62 in Rio de Janeiro". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- Staff (2007-02-17). "Combat Fighting Championship 3 Official Results". mixedmartialarts.com. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- Professional MMA record for Ben Saunders from Sherdog
- Ben Saunders' The Ultimate Fighter bio
- Ben Saunders' TUF 6 Blog
- Ben Saunders on Twitter