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Ben Saunders Will Take on Jon Fitch at UFC 111, May Earn Title Shot with Win

(Ben Saunders: 170 pounds of knees, elbows, and unfortunate facial hair.)

With Thiago Alves out of UFC 111 due to brain irregularities, the UFC has tapped Ben Saunders to take on Jon Fitch just two days before the event. This means that Jake Ellenberger, who was originally scheduled to face Saunders as a replacement for the nauseatingly-wounded Martin Kampmann, is now screwed out of the fight he worked his tail off to prepare for. The upside is, he’s reportedly still getting his show and win money, all for doing nothing more than being cool about the whole thing. Looks like the wings and beers at a Newark-area Hooters are on Ellenberger tonight.

So what does this new match-up mean, aside from more changes to our UFC 111 FightPicker? For Saunders, it means a chance to step up in the ranks with a more high-profile victory. TMZ reports that Dana White has said he’ll give Saunders a title shot if he beats Fitch, which seems like a move that would sure piss off Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley with a quickness. Fitch has less to gain with a win over Saunders than with one over Alves, but at least he can call up his AKA teammate Mike Swick to get some scouting info on the lanky striker.

Kudos to the UFC for making lemonade out of this unfortunate batch of irregular lemons. Guess it helps to have a roster of fighters willing to scramble their plans at the last minute to accommodate your wishes.

Cagepotato Comments

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ghostboner- March 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm
For the record, I still might pick Saunders on fightpicker. But probably not. I hope Fitch suplexes Saunders so hard he doesn't wake up for.... seconds. Lots of seconds. Like 10.
ghostboner- March 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm
@robthom - I was thinking the same thing. You lost to Swick, beat Davis, and now you get a title contender fight with Fitch??

And the rest of you need to STFU and back up off AKA's nuts. Kos is not a lay and pray-er (not to be confused with prayer). How did he take out the Ben Saunders' colored brother? By choking his ass out. And besides, you all seem perfectly content when GSP lays on top of people for 5 rounds and doesn't finish fights, don't ya!? But you are all hating on Fitch for winning. You all need to stop crying. And you need a hug. A hug from Fitch's nuts that is.

And while I'm ranting, Johnson and Saunders need to stop acting all bad because they can beat up on dudes half their size. Saunders comes across as a turd bucket and I do not like him. I hope Fitch pounds his overgrown ego and ridiculous sideburns back into I'mtobigformyweightdivisionbutI'mstillnotgettingatitleshot land.
cecils_pupils- March 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm
So TMZ scooped the MMA newsworld... so what. I saw it on CP first so who cares that it came from TMZ... there are some pretty nice other things to see on TMZ though..., go ahead... i dare ya... search for Megan Fox's camel toe. Yur welcome. ;)

Screw AKA, Killa B has balls and I hope he knees the fuck outta Fitch.
So So Explosive- March 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm
lol, let's get this straight, just for all you dumb fucks who think jake shields is gonna leap frog straight to the top. They'll prob give him the daley rematch, if daley manages to beat kos. He won't fight any AKA groundhumpers due to the fact he uses them to upgrade his wrestling, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK TAUGHT HIM TO LAY ON EVERYONE? Anyways, dudududu, adding jake shields to the mix just adds another lay and pray AKA'er (fitch,kos,shields) go 170 division.
MoonBelly- March 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm
I agree. I had to go back and double check that he actually did lose that Swick fight when I heard he could get a title shot. I have to imagine Shields leap frogs everyone and gets the next shot. OR Dana may use him as a guy to beat Fitch. It's no secret DW hates Fitch's boring fights. In that case you probably go back to the Kos/Daley winner. I just hope the UFC is able to steal Shields away soon after his Hendo fight.
robthom- March 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm
Saunders has great potential but he hasn't grown into it yet.

One fight away from a title shot is a farce. He should be able to beat Mike Swick first long before even thinking aboot that.
Harry Nips- March 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm
El Guapo-"I don't wanna live in a world where TMZ reports on MMA!!"
Truer words have never been spoken my friend. Let's hope they just go back to filming Liddell stumbling through L.A. nightclub parking lots.
rlh61- March 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Judgment Day must be upon us...

Fuckin' TMZ scoops everyone on this story??


Where's Frank Mir when you need a loaded gun?
BryanF- March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm
I don't care who wins, I just want someone to FINISH this fight decisively...I can't stand the welterweight clusterfuck at the top of the division caused by AKA either.
AKArbalest- March 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm
The funniest thing about this whole "Thiago Alves has a brain irregularity" story is that TMZ was the first to break it. What is the world coming to when TMZ is covering MMA news better than MMA sites?
fACE7biter- March 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Kinda premature for a title shot, but fighting a guy you haven't prepared for on 2 days notice is tough. Does Fitch get a title shot if he wins? Becasue he hasn't rattled off enough quality wins yet to take another beating by GSP just yet. GSP should fight the winner of Koscheck Vs. Daley next, then maybe Saunders or Fitch if they can get atleast 1 more victory. But no matter who it is, I hope GSP ground n' pounds the shit out of them.
El Guapo- March 25, 2010 at 11:55 am
I don't wanna live in a world where TMZ reports on MMA!!

Unless it involves strippers, cocamina and/or runaway Hummers, naturally. But this isn't the case! Goodbye cruel, cruel world. Tell Arianny I love her..
DAN THE VIKING- March 25, 2010 at 11:46 am
FUCK YESS!!!!!11
My man Killa B with a killer oppurtuniT!
J-Dog- March 25, 2010 at 11:38 am
I like this option much better than them promoting that undercard fight up to the main card. I think this will be a good fight.
whambamthankyoumam- March 25, 2010 at 11:37 am
ben saunders better get a nice under the table payday for this one
Nealio- March 25, 2010 at 11:24 am
I like Fitch and all, but everyone knows he's just a grinder. I'd much rather see Killa B and his wicked knees turning dude's foreheads into a giant lump of fluid and scar tissue.
PERPATRAITOR- March 25, 2010 at 11:19 am
I would love to go with saunders but fitch will hold him down for 3 rounds. Sorry guys :(. Ellenberger was more exciting. Sooo the big winner indeed is ellenberger. Good job bro!!
Swedish- March 25, 2010 at 11:12 am
This is the big difference between the UFC and any other shit promotion. When they encounter bumps in the road they take care of it. Often times with a better matchup then what was previously announced.

I hope Ben stomps JFitch to pieces
Mescan_Judo- March 25, 2010 at 11:11 am
Lets hope Saunders fights better against Fitch than he did with Swick.
El Famous Burrito- March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am
I like Fitch and all, but I hope Saunders wins here.

I'm getting tired of the AKA logjam at the top of the division and, let's be honest, Fitch fights like Clay Guida on Robitussin.
El Famous Burrito- March 25, 2010 at 10:56 am
Like my grandma always said:

When life gives you lemons....bust open someone's forehead with a vicious knee.

Durden- March 25, 2010 at 10:56 am
Will the fightpicker choice be updated during the day?
I see that the Alves/Fitch fight seems to be scrapped from there (if it even was there to begin with, but I assume it was).
Though Saunders vs Ellenberger is still there.

Nut Puncher 9000- March 25, 2010 at 10:49 am
Out of the ashes comes quite the opportunity for Saunders.
Viva Hate- March 25, 2010 at 10:46 am
OKay the UFC needs to make up their mind so I can complete my FightPicker!!!!!!
danomite- March 25, 2010 at 10:45 am
Man, you guys are quick