Ben Saunders wants his shot at Bellator gold. | Photo: Keith Mills


“Killa B” appears to have found new life in Bellator Fighting Championships.

Once looked upon as a potential threat in the UFC welterweight division, Ben Saunders was released by the promotion following back-to-back losses in 2010. The lanky muay Thai specialist has not lost since, posting three straight wins in Bellator’s circular cage.

Now, Saunders sits poised for a possible shot against reigning Bellator 170-pound king Ben Askren. That is if he can navigate a red-hot Douglas Lima in the Season 5 tournament finals. The two will lock horns on Saturday at Bellator 57, going down from Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario.

Like Saunders, Lima has been impressive on his road to the finals, outpointing Steve Carl before finishing Chris Lozano in spectacular fashion in the semifinals.

“Douglas Lima definitely looked good in his fight with Chris Lozano,” Saunders said. “He looks like he has heavy power, and that was a very exciting fight to watch. I have to be prepared for whatever Lima is going to bring to the table. I don’t know what game plan he is going to come up with, so I just have to go with the flow.”

Saunders cites his versatility as a reason for his confidence heading into his confrontation with “The Phenom.” After knocking out Chris Cisneros in the round of eight, the American Top Team Orlando representative showed his ability off his back in the semifinals, stifling Luis Santos’ top game before finishing the fight with a keylock.

“To go in and dominate Santos from my back like I did put a smile on my face,” Saunders said. “For it to go that well and not take really any damage but still get to him and get the positive feedback from the fans, [those were] the biggest things.

“At the end of the day, wherever the fight [with Lima] goes, I am going to be comfortable,” he continued. “If I am on my back, I am very comfortable there. Wherever the fight takes place, I want to make sure my opponents aren’t having a good time. I’m always looking to finish.”

One aspect of the final pairing for which Saunders is especially excited is the use of elbows, a technique which the 28-year-old has used with great effectiveness throughout his career. Elbows were disallowed in the first two rounds of the tournament to prevent excessive lacerations that might throw off the timing of the tournament due to medical suspensions.

“I am excited to finally be able to use elbows,” said Saunders. “It’s something I have been waiting for. There is no doubt in my mind I will be trying to utilize them in the final fight.”

Though Saunders undoubtedly faces a tough test in Lima, the fighter is already talking about his plans for welterweight champion Askren, the man who owns what Saunders covets.

“In this fight, it is important that I make a statement,” said Saunders. “Ben Askren being my next opponent, I would love to make it a point to go out there and say, ‘Hey man, you’ve got your hands full with me, and here’s three or four fights as proof.’

“My drive is getting the belt. I’ve worked my ass off, and beating Lima is going to be a huge accomplishment because he is probably one of the biggest prospects in the world,” he added. “I have got to get that title. That’s all I want and all I need, and I will do whatever it takes to get it.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dana White warns Yoel Romero: 'America doesn't want to hear your thoughts on Jesus'

  • 28 days ago
  • 63 views

Top middleweight contender Yoel Romero momentarily found himself in hot water after allegedly making an anti-gay remark following his victory over Lyoto Machida at last weekend's (Sat., June 27, 2015 read news >>

MMA Tete-A-Tete: UFC & Bellator half year in review 2015

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Kid Nate + Eugene S. Robinson look back at 2015 in MMA so far. The UFC's new drug testing policy, sponsorship deal with Reebok, Bellator's back to the future strategy, read news >>

Bellator 140 card set with addition of four prelims, including Waylon Lowe-Ryan Quinn

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

The card for Bellator 140 is set with the addition of four preliminary bouts.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Paul Daley promises to go "nuclear" on Koscheck in Bellator rematch

  • 28 days ago
  • 26 views

Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is looking forward to a busy second-half of 2015. The British welterweight faces Dennis Olson at Bellator 140 on July 17, then will begin training for a GLORY bout on the Bellator read news >>

Bellator and Glory present Dynamite: Full event coverage September 19

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

Get all the coverage here for the return of Dynamite, as Bellator and Glory co-promote an MMA/kickboxing show September 19. Bellator teased a major announcement for today regarding one of their corne read news >>

Cheick Kongo open to fights with Lashley, 'Kimbo Slice,' wants to stay active

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

Bellator heavyweight Cheick Kongo is open to fighting anyone on the promotion’s big-man roster, as long as he gets to it soon.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #1993 with Cheick Kongo and David Rickels

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Cheick Kongo and David Rickels.Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News, Radio read news >>

MMAjunkie Radio (noon ET): Bellator 'Knockout of the Year' candidate Hisaki Kato

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) with guest Hisaki Kato.Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News read news >>

Hisaki Kato on Bellator 139 upset: 'I was there to be knocked out by Joe Schilling'

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

Hisaki Kato said he was purposely positioned as an underdog to Joe Schilling at Bellator 139.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, June 30: 'Soldier of God' on the rise

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

After a weekend with Bellator 139 and UFC Fight Night 70, the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings got an update, and “Soldier of God” was the big winner.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, read news >>