Ben Saunders (10-3-2) is a violent man. Standing at 6’3, he is a giant in the Welterweight division, and his aggressive, relentless style of striking is a handful for anyone who cannot pin him down.

After a tenure on the sixth season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ which saw Saunders come up short in the quarterfinals, the young welterweight went on quite the tear through his division. His barrage of knees against Travis Wolfe was the first bout in which a wide audience got to witness the brutality of Saunders’ Muay Thai, stopping Wolfe in the first round in a memorable display of clinch work.

After suffering his first loss to fellow TUF alumni Mike Swick, Saunders became the first man to KO veteran Marcus Davis, putting him to sleep a series of knees identical to those he unleashed in the Wolfe fight. Two decision losses to top-ranked Jon Fitch and respected journeyman Dennis Hallman followed, which led to Saunders’ being release from the promotion. The release was less of a definite departure, and more of a sabbatical granted to Saunders to develop his weaknesses.

It’s clear his goal is to work his way back to the bright lights of The Ultimate Fighting Championship, and at 27 with just 15 fights under his belt, that is more than achievable; his performance at Bellator 39 was indicative of his potential and determination.

Facing Matt Lee, whose mixed martial arts career has spanned more than a decade, ‘Killa B’ was in top form. Saunders came forth with every weapon imaginable on the feet; tying Lee up in his vice grip of a clinch, he projected knees from every angle to both the body and face while peppering Lee’s scalp and eyebrows with elbows. From a distance, Saunders used his 77 inch reach to thump Lee with right hooks and head-kicks when the opening arrived. The onslaught proved to be too much for the iron-willed Lee, leading to a doctor stoppage in the middle of the third round.

Saunders’ weakest area has always been his wrestling, but with the size and strength he posses, gradual improvement in that area is surely coming along. Lee’s grappling potency is nowhere near that of Fitch or Hallman, but after 11 years of competition, he surely knows how to get an opponent to the floor; Saunders’ did not hit the canvas at a single moment.

While he is not the upper-tier fighters he once was in the UFC, Saunders’ utter domination of his past two opponents is a sign that he definitely has the promise to once again compete and flourish against top-ranked competition. Only time will tell, but time seems to be on Ben Saunders’ side.

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One Response

  1. Victor Rapture

    I wanted to blow my fucking brains out while reading this. Worst article ever. Thank you Ian Bland

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