Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders was a competitor on the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.

End of UFC CareerEdit

He most recently faced Dennis Hallman, losing for the second straight time by unanimous decision.

He was afterwards cut from the UFC. In his first fight outside of the promotion, he defeated Elijah Harshbarger by first-round submission due to strikes after taking the fight on a month's notice. He next signed with Bellator.

Bellator CareerEdit

Saunders made his Bellator debut in a non-tournament bout versus Matt Lee. He defeated Lee via third-round doctor stoppage after marking up the veteran's face with elbows, knees and punches for nearly fifteen minutes.

Saunders was next set to fight in the quarterfinals of the Bellator season five welterweight tournament against season four finalist and judo specialist Rick Hawn. Hawn was unfortunately injured and forced to pull out of the tournament. Hawn was replaced by Bellator newcomer Chris Cisneros. Saunders defeated Cisneros via brutal third-round TKO.

With the victory, Saunders moved on to the semifinals where faced prospect Luis Santos. Saunders dominated Santos for nearly fifteen minutes, surely filling some spectators with shocked delight. He defeated the tough Santos via third round keylock submission to advance to the finals where he faced former MFC welterweight champion and friend Douglas Lima. Lima defeated Saunders via second-round knockout.

Saunders next signed to face Raul Amaya in the quarterfinals of the Bellator season six welterweight tournament. He handed a tough Amaya his first loss via dominant unanimous decision, chaining submission attempts together on the ground from dominant positions and closing Amaya's left eye with strikes.

With the victory, Saunders moved on to the tournament semifinals to face former middleweight tournament finalist and WEC veteran Bryan Baker. Baker defeated Saunders via an exciting unanimous decision.

Saunders next faced Brian Warren, winning via a twenty-two second TKO.

Saunders next fought in the quarterfinals of the season eight welterweight tournament against newcomer Koffi Adzitso on Spike. Saunders dominated Adzitso en route to a unanimous decision victory, moving on to the semifinals for a rematch against Raul Amaya. Saunders knocked Amaya out in the first round with an emphatic high kick.

With the victory, Saunders moved on to the finals for another rematch with friend Douglas Lima. The fight was delayed twice because of injuries to Lima; in fact, the season eight finals were delayed until the start of Season Nine. Lima unfortunately knocked Saunders out with a brutal second round head kick.

A few months after the loss Saunders was cut from Bellator after agreeing that he could do more there with CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Post-Bellator Career And UFC ReturnEdit

Saunders had a decent layoff afterwards before signing in late April 2014 to fight in Titan FC.

In June 2014 Saunders signed to make his debut for the vacant promotional welterweight title against fellow UFC and TUF veteran Matt Riddle. Riddle was unfortunately injured and replaced by pioneer Jose Landi-Jons.

Saunders ended up resigning with the UFC instead to make a short-notice return against newcomer Chris Heatherly in August 2014. Saunders defeated Heatherly via a first round omoplata shoulderlock submission, the first time the submission had been successfully used to finish a fight in the UFC. The finish won Submission of the Year honors.

Saunders next signed to fight fellow Bellator veteran and returning UFC veteran Joe Riggs. Saunders defeated Riggs via a quick first round submission due to a shoulder injury to Riggs.

Saunders next signed to fight veteran striker Erick Silva in what would be the first true test of Saunders' UFC return. He was unfortunately injured and the fight was scrapped.

After recovering Saunders then fought Kenny Robertson winning a close and exciting split decision.

For the last fight of his contract Saunders fought veteran Patrick Cote losing via a first round TKO.

Out of the UFC Again Edit

A few months later Saunders was released from the UFC, initially thought by fans and pundits alike that he had been cut. Saunders took the time to explain that his grandparents had died during the leadup to the Cote fight and his personal life and training camps had been suffering a lot of difficulties. He gave no blame to the UFC whatsoever and stated that he was sure he'd be back soon.

In the meantime Saunders took a fight against fellow UFC veteran Jacob Volkmann. Saunders defeated Volkmann via a very impressive seventeen second armbar submission.