PHOENIX – With the start of his third stint in the UFC out of the way, Ben Saunders can get back to what he hopes is some normalcy – and hopefully making a more steady paycheck.
On Sunday on the main card of UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix, Saunders (21-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC) returned to the UFC and took a unanimous decision from his friend Court McGee (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC). The result was one that was debated – roughly half the media tracked by MMADecisions.com scored the fight for McGee instead of Saunders.
But with a hard-fought victory out of the way, Saunders perhaps can get some order back. After a loss to Patrick Cote a year ago snapped a three-fight winning streak in his second stint in the UFC after a long run for Bellator, Saunders left under odd circumstances without a contract renewal.
He took a fight in Minnesota this past September and submitted fellow former UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann in just 17 seconds, but paychecks on the regional scene aren’t going to pay that many bills.
“I don’t like talking about my personal life and my personal business, but realistically, it’s been a year since I’ve fought,” Saunders said after his win over McGee at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The main card aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. “This is what I do for a living, and that’s a long, long time to (not) make some money. Yeah, I fought Volkmann, and yeah, I won in 17 seconds. But that wasn’t a lot of money by any means. In fact, it was just possibly paying the bills off from the six to eight months that I didn’t have a job, and then I went into this fight in debt.”
Saunders said he was hoping for a “Fight of the Night” bonus for him and McGee. As it turned out, that didn’t happen. That honor went to Augusto Mendes and Frankie Saenz on the preliminary card.
The extra $50,000 certainly would’ve helped Saunders get rolling again if his bank account was indeed in the proverbial red.
“I did everything I could to make a camp and be prepared and be in as best shape as possible,” he said. “With this money and this win bonus, that’s only going to allow me to get bigger and better training camp possibilities and have more focus on that and less stress. Unless you’re a fighter, you don’t understand the stresses (we) go through.
“The holidays were here and I wasn’t able to really enjoy anything. The focus had to be on the business at hand, and that was the fight. As much as I love my friends and my family and all that, Christmas and New Year’s was mediocre at best.”
Maybe his win bonus will help him have a belated holiday celebration.
For more from Saunders after his win over McGee, check out the video above.view original article >>
See the top Twitter reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s title win over Al Iaquinta in the UFC 223 main event. read news >>
Josh Barnett won a victory over USADA. Should it make us think twice about USADA’s role in the UFC? Ben Fowlkes and Danny Downes discuss. read news >>
Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Brian Ortega, Max Holloway, Conor McGregor: Who got the best, and worst, of the UFC 223 shakeup? 1 2 3 4 …5 read news >>
Conor McGregor might have hurt his chances of competing in the UFC again by crashing the media day for UFC 223 Thursday, as Bleacher Report relayed: UFC president Dana White was disgusted by read news >>
Chris Curtis (15-5) will defend his title in a 170-pound main event championship match against Jason Norwood (18-4) at CES 49 on Friday in Lincoln, R.I. read news >>
As Conor McGregor 's future with the UFC has come into question surrounding his UFC 223 media day attack, his manager, Audie A. Attar, has made it known that the Irish star wants to get bac read news >>
See the top Twitter reacts to Rose Namajunas’ title defense against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the UFC 223 co-main event. read news >>
Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night addressed Conor McGregor's recent rampage and spoke at length about his seriousness about fighting in the UFC. read news >>
See the top Twitter reacts to Alex Oliveira’s win over Carlos Condit in the UFC on FOX 29 co-main event. read news >>
Dustin Poirier wants to win the title and make a bunch of money. Justin Gaethje wants to keep fighting like he doesn’t care if he wins or loses – but he also wants to make a bunch of money. Who has t read news >>
A long simmering feud between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis will finally come to a head when the heavyweights clash at UFC 226 in Las Vegas on July 7. Sources close to the matchup confirmed the b read news >>
Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra is getting a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. read news >>
See the top Twitter reactions to Kevin Lee’s win over Edson Barboza in the UFC Fight Night 128 main event. read news >>
(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube) UFC veteran Evan Dunham breaks down the UFC 223 main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson faces unbe read news >>
UFC will host a media conference call with all four athletes competing in title fights on the UFC 223 fight card on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. read news >>
If the UFC needs to add another marquee fight to the upcoming card in Liverpool, England, Michael Bisping is ready and willing to step up to the challenge. The former UFC middleweight champion has go read news >>