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And Now He’s Fired: Ben Saunders


(Killa B gets worked by Dennis Hallman at UFC 117. Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.)

Following back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Dennis Hallman at UFC 117 and Jon Fitch at UFC 111, Ben Saunders (8-3-2, 4-3 UFC) has been released from his UFC contract. The American Top Team welterweight confirmed the news on his Twitter page, where he wrote the following:

Sorry everyone I tried to fight my best these past two fights but ended up getting out worked… the UFC has officially cut me… the good news is they told me to work on my wrestling and ground game and then come back… So that is all I am going to be doing… improving dramatically and show them I belong. It was a honor to fight for the @UFC and I will make it back into the mix in due time… no one ever said my dream of getting that belt would be easy… in fact I was denied it as even a possibility and told I was crazy since I was a kid… look how far I have gone feeding off the doubters and haters… it just makes me that much more hungry… I’ll be back! There isn’t a doubt in my mind.



Much respect to Swick, Fitch, and Hallman as they were the better men on those nights and have my full respect. To fight such names is a true honor… now to continue my journey like a ronin searching for the battle that awaits me… it will come and I will be ready… till then I will not stop training and improving myself as a martial artist and human being. Life is nothing but a longterm learning experience… I have learned enough to consider myself a veteran… now to continue my progress and look towards what the future holds for me… staying positive in negative times has been the hardest tests I have ever faced but I have been through harder times and have fought my way through… this is no different… To Joe Silva, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and the whole staff of the UFC it was good times and I look forward to seeing you all again in the future..

Saunders first joined the UFC through TUF 6, where he took decision wins over Dan Barerra in the house as well as at the TUF 6 Finale. He went on to score stoppages over Ryan Thomas and Brandon Wolff before getting TKO’d by Mike Swick at UFC 99. His one-round smash-up of Marcus Davis at UFC 106 was his last victory in the UFC.

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Sudos KFC- August 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm
I can almost see the tears on his keyboard as he typed this.
WalksInTheDarkness- August 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm
You mean like Anthony Hardonk and Pat Barry? (Oh weight, their division has no depth so the UFC won't cut them). The welter weight division is stacked full of guys that no how to wrestle, Shields, GSP, Fitch and Koscheck. All four of those guys know how to hold a guy down for 15 minutes. It's not exciting but it'll get you a win.

And they won't scratch Nate Diaz yet

He also doesn't sell the faux "I'm Irish" line either which is why Marcus Davis is still around too. Basically, it's all about selling the PPV and event tickets and if you can't do that you're worthless to the UFC.

Most importantly, unless you're a few guys who fight for the UFC your contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
Viva Hate- August 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm
Is Saunders blowing his rape whistle?
Mr_Misanthropy- August 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm
UFC = U're Fucking Cut!
Ballkick- August 13, 2010 at 11:38 am
Re-posting this for a guy who is down on his luck and might need to make a little chedda in the long road back to the gravy train.

Kalib Starnes and David Loiseau have just announced opening a new gym in Humboldt Saskatchewan.
The Imdone Fighting Academy.
Rumor's are Keith Jardine will be approached as a instructor for this new gym in the very near future.

Keith couldn't secure a visa into Canada as we already have several Dean's of Mean working in Grade schools around the country, so this is your "Golden"opportunity Barnes. Just don't fill in cause Jardine couldn't,....that was what got you into this predicament.
TL416- August 13, 2010 at 11:29 am
Mans gotta stop bitching. I can see what the UFC is saying.
He got the boot because he clearly has no ground game. He's exciting on his feet, yes, but once he hits the floor he's fucked.
"the good news is they told me to work on my wrestling and ground game and then come back..."
That's exactly what he needs to do. It's fairly easy to make a game plan against this guy with his terrible ground skills, so why bother keeping a guy who has no hope in a division dominated by wrestlers?
steampunk22- August 13, 2010 at 11:18 am
@JustSomeDong

;)
pooch- August 13, 2010 at 11:06 am
I want to like Fitch but I have to tell you he just controls fighters and never seems to go for the finish like you said. I don't look forward to seeing him fight if he is on the card.It almost time to get up and make a sandwich.I think a change in the way judges score fights might discourage this kind of fighting.The ref has to be more assertive when deciding whether or not to stand the fighters up. It's not like Fitch is a black belt BJJ guy who is working to pull off a submission. The only guys who are in danger of a submission from Fitch are the people watching his fights.
pooch- August 13, 2010 at 11:05 am
I want to like Fitch but I have to tell you he just controls fighters and never seems to go for the finish like you said. I don't look forward to seeing him fight if he is on the card.It almost time to get up and make a sandwich.I think a change in the way judges score fights might discourage this kind of fighting.The ref has to be more assertive when deciding whether or not to stand the fighters up. It's not like Fitch is a black belt BJJ guy who is working to pull off a submission. The only guys who are in danger of a submission from Fitch are the people watching his fights.
just some dong- August 13, 2010 at 11:02 am
Props, steampunk, for the WTC reference.

I am surprised by this cut given how exciting Ben can be and what a company man he was during his brief run. His dismantling of Marcus Davis alone should have been enough to keep him around for a lot longer.

cecils_pupils- August 13, 2010 at 10:29 am
Sucks for Ben - steps on on short notice, Fitchzzz blankets him like a Snuggie for 3 rounds, and this is his reward? I guess since he lost to a newcomer afterward that pretty much screwed him.

Just goes to show you, when it comes to keepin' your job with the UFC it's all about "what have you done for me lately".
Dr.- August 13, 2010 at 9:43 am
"I thought that late replacement stuff got you on the UFC's good side?"

I thought so too. But I guess if anyone will drag you into a painfully boring fight to watch, it's Fitch. I used to enjoy his fights but GODDAMN, at least work for a finish or do something more than smother. The few lazy RNC attempts had some redeeming value but Alves was far from being in danger.

Maybe more than the obligatory punches to avoid a standing restart would suffice. It's a great formula for success, but being a spectator sport where revenue is generated by the perceived satisfaction of the card beforehand, seeing Fitch on there doesn't give my wallet a boner.
Merlin- August 13, 2010 at 9:36 am
That is not cool ... but I'm sure Killa B Saunders will be back with his reach, and thai clinch along with his attitude and smile, he's a hand full for anyone in the 170 division.
Oh & his KO of Marcus Davis via knees in the first round at UFC 106 is still one of my favorites HLR KOs.
steampunk22- August 13, 2010 at 9:20 am
@Jnoodles

"Twitlonger"

I agree, Saunders was never really that great. He showed flashes of promise though, and its too bad that he didn't get another shot. He RUINED Marcus Davis. I was hoping he would've beat Swick actually. And getting grinded out by Jon Fitch is hardly a mark on your record. EVERYONE gets grinded out my Jon Fitch.

Ironically, the last time Mike Swick won a fight was against Ben Saunders.

Poor Killa B. Just wasn't quite firing on all 36 chambers.

;)
danomite- August 13, 2010 at 8:38 am
I never really thought Saunders was that good. The guys he beat were either small for a welterweight or bad or both (Ryan Thomas anyone? I throw a better punch than that guy. He looks like he's trying to swim when he's punching) but he doesn't deserve to get cut after only two losses in a row and a winning record in the UFC. Nate Diaz still has a job for christs sake and he had lost 3 of his last 4 before he beat Markham.
Kid Clam Curtains- August 13, 2010 at 8:29 am
I actually believe he'll be back.
Plan B- August 13, 2010 at 8:20 am
See folks, offer yourself to a much harder match in Fitch when Alves medically could not fight, save the UFC a lot of trouble and you too can be cut!
Crusader86- August 13, 2010 at 8:09 am
That sucks, Ben Saunders is awesome. And only dropping two fights and getting cut? That sucks ass.
jnoodles6- August 13, 2010 at 7:59 am
That tweet was 140 characters?
Bill Jackson- August 13, 2010 at 7:59 am
This is what he gets for fighting Fitch on short notice and being held down for fifteen minutes. I thought that late replacement stuff got you on the UFC's good side?
TheArtof8Limbs- August 13, 2010 at 7:59 am
Shame. I liked Saunders but he just couldn't get anything going his last 2 fights. Hopefully he'll be back in the UFC but the percentage of fighters fired to fighters returning are slim...
Viva Hate- August 13, 2010 at 7:50 am
Looks like the UFC got the Raid out for the "Killa B" HA!
manutdfan- August 13, 2010 at 7:48 am
Yet Davis still has a job.
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