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Tag: ben Saunders

Maybe Jake Ellenberger Should Have Gotten the Bright Idea to Ask For the Fitch Fight


(Jake Ellenberger, seen here working for his money like a sucker.)

Those among us who aren’t pro fighters might think that Jake Ellenberger got a pretty sweet deal today. Because Ben Saunders volunteered to step in for Thiago Alves against Jon Fitch on late notice, Ellenberger now doesn’t have to do any work on Saturday night, and yet he still gets paid as if he had fought and won. Seems like a clear-cut ‘Nice, Playa‘ situation if we ever saw one.

But according to what he told Cagewriter, Ellenberger is still a little bummed about training for weeks just to end up a spectator in Newark this weekend:

"I was disappointed. Ben Saunders asked for the fight, Dana liked that, so our fight took a backseat. …It took me by complete surprise."
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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.

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Axe-Wound of the Day: Kampmann Out of UFC 111 With Monster Gash; Ellenberger to Replace

Martin Kampmann gash cut eyebrow
(Photo courtesy of twitter.com/martinkampmann)

The poor bastard you see in the picture above is UFC welterweight contender Martin Kampmann, who had to pull out of his UFC 111 fight against Ben Saunders on Tuesday due to a stomach-turning gash over his right eye, which he suffered in training. (Damn, those Xtreme Couture guys need to take it easy with the broken-glass kickboxing matches.) Kampmann hopes to return to the cage in May. Saunders, who’s coming off his first-round knockout of Marcus Davis at UFC 106, will now take on Jake Ellenberger, who’s fresh off his TKO victory over Mike Pyle. In other UFC matchup news…

— According to a report on MMA Weekly, TUF 7 winner/Master Tweeter Amir Sadollah will compete next against undefeated Judo specialist Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 114 (May 29th, Las Vegas). Sadollah is riding back-to-back unanimous decision wins against Phil Baroni and Brad Blackburn; due to injury, Kim hasn’t competed since his decision win over TJ Grant at UFC 100 last July.

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Martin Kampmann vs. Ben Saunders Expected for UFC 111 + More Booking News

Marcus Davis Ben Saunders UFC MMA
(Ben Saunders’s clinch: Not where you want to be. Photo courtesy of ESPN.)

According to MMA Weekly, welterweight contenders Martin Kampmann and Ben Saunders have agreed to meet at UFC 111 (March 27th, Newark). Both fighters recently bounced back to the win column after suffering knockouts in previous fights: Kampmann scored a first-round submission over Jacob Volkmann earlier this month after getting smoked by Paul Daley at UFC 103, while Saunders is coming off his first-round knockout of Marcus Davis at UFC 106, after being on the wrong end of a TKO against Mike Swick in June. UFC 111 will be headlined by the championship doubleheader of Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy and Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin. In other UFC fight-booking news…

— Speaking of Marcus Davis, the Irish Hand Grenade will look to snap his two-fight losing streak at UFC 113 (May 1st, Montreal) against Canadian welterweight Jonathan Goulet, who returns to the Octagon for the first time since his 33-second knockout loss to Mike Swick at Fight for the Troops in December 2008.

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UFC Fight-Booking Roundup: Jones vs. Hamill, Davis vs. Saunders + More

Jon Jones Mark Coleman UFC MMA
("Bones" and "Osteoporosis" warm up before UFC 100. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

According to reports on MMA Madness and The Garv, UFC light-heavyweights Jon Jones and Matt Hamill have agreed to face each other on the main card of the TUF 10 Finale (December 5th, Las Vegas). One of MMA’s most exciting prospects, Jones (9-0) most recently submitted Jake O’Brien at UFC 100, following decision wins over Andre Gusmao and Stephan Bonnar. Hamill (6-2) could be Bones’s toughest test yet. The TUF 3 vet has won back-to-back fights since his loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 88, scoring a TKO over Reese Andy at UFC 92 and a devastating head kick KO of Mark Munoz at UFC 96. It will be the first of a new four-fight deal for Jon Jones, who’s now splitting his time between Tristar Gym and Greg Jackson’s camp.

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Quick Hits: MMA and Dr. Phil, Wolff Talks Beatdown, + More


(Did you know that "MMA Fix" from RawVegas.tv is on actual TV in Canada via The Fight Network?  Well you do now.)

UFC president Dana White joined Forrest Griffin and Kenny Florian on an episode of “Dr. Phil” that will air next Thursday, May 14.  They were apparently there to talk to people about good types of MMA and bad types of MMA.  For example, fighting in a sanctioned MMA event after diligent training at a respected gym: good.  Superman-punching your little brother while he watches cartoons: bad (but hilarious).  Dana White will presumably drive this point home by telling them to “knock it off, you fuckers.”  Then Griffin and Florian will break down in tears and admit that all they’ve wanted was Dana’s approval.  Group hug!   

In other news…

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Weekend Quick Hits: War Machine Wins, Swick Gets an Opponent, Rahman Is Screwing With Us


(War Machine slips into a brief trance.  This is why we say no flash photography around him, people.)

- Competing at last night’s XMMA event in Montreal, the fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver earned a submission victory over previously unbeaten Guillaume “El Toro” Delorenzi via rear naked choke.  When reached for the comment, the citizens of the world replied, “War Machine?  That guy who threatened the president on MySpace?  He fights?”

- Mike “Quick” Swick will face Ben Saunders at UFC 99 in Germany, according to Five Ounces of Pain.  Saunders last competed against Brandon Wolff, the fighter War Machine refused to face due to fears that he might be both good and relatively unknown, thus earning his dismissal from the UFC.  Using his height and a series of brutal knees, Saunders made quick work of Wolff at "Fight for the Troops."  Now he gets Swick in Germany.  Why not.

- After insisting that he’s been in negotiations with Strikeforce to give this MMA stuff a try, it seems as if Hasim Rahman is even more full of shit than we suspected.  Strikfeforce’s Mike Afromowitz told MMA Fanhouse there has been “no dialogue” with Rahman or his manager about a fight with Kimbo Slice, as Rahman’s manager had claimed.  Maybe by ‘talking to Strikefore’ he really meant ‘watching old Strikeforce fights on the internet?’  As for Kimbo, Afromowitz described those talks as “ongoing.” 

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UFC Bookings and Replacements: Condit, Larson, Kang, Saunders + More

Xavier Foupa-Pokam MMA UFC
(No man has seen Xavier Foupa-Pokam’s real face and lived.

As previously rumored, WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit has signed on to face Martin Kampmann in the main event of UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville). Brock Larson, who Condit was originally scheduled to face in a title defense at WEC 39, will also be competing on the Fight Night 18 card, likely against UFC newcomer Jesse Sanders. Larson has fought twice in the UFC, losing a decision to Jon Fitch in 2005, and winning a decision over Keita Nakamura in 2006.

Denis Kang, who took an upset loss to Alan Belcher in his Octagon debut at UFC 93, will try to redeem himself in front of his fellow Canadians at UFC 97 (April 18th, Montreal). Kang will be taking on Xavier "Professor X" Foupa-Pokam, a French Cage Rage/Palace Fighting Championships vet and UFC first-timer who has won his last seven fights by stoppage

— Undefeated TUF 6 standout Ben Saunders has been forced to drop off the UFC 96 card due to a foot injury, and has been replaced by Tamdan McCrory. Saunders was originally supposed to face welterweight submission specialist Dustin Hazelett — who most recently submitted McCrory via armbar at UFC 91 — until Hazelett dropped off the card with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by 5-0 prospect Ryan Madigan. So now we’ve gone from Saunders vs. Hazelett to McCrory vs. Madigan. The world is not fair. 

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UFC 87 Undercard Results

Luke Cummo Tamdan McCrory UFC MMA
(NERD FIGHT!!! Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

For those who are particularly sensitive to spoilers — even when they technically aren’t spoilers at all — results from the “Seek and Destroy” undercard are after the jump.

Related: UFC 87: The New Guys

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Got UFC Fight Bookings If You Want ‘Em…

TG
(Tyson Griffin could potentially settle his grudge with Nate Diaz in July. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

Ultimate Fighter 6 semi-standouts Ben Saunders and Jared Rollins will meet at UFC 86 (July 5th, Las Vegas). Saunders, who has been working out with the death squad at American Top Team, most recently defeated Dan Barrera via unanimous decision at the TUF6 finale last December, while Rollins suffered a third-round TKO loss during his “Fight of the Night” against Jon Koppenhaver on the same card.

Tyson Griffin will likely be fighting at UFC 86 as well, against a yet-unnamed opponent that could be Nate Diaz. Diaz recently called out Griffin after his star-making triangle-choke of Kurt Pellegrino at UFN 13, and the UFC might give the baby his bottle, so to speak.

— The TUF 7 finale card on June 21st is turning into a full-fledged Fight Night, with three fights booked (so far) that don’t involve the show’s castmembers. Besides the previously mentioned main event between Diego Sanchez and Luigi Fioravanti, Josh Burkman will take on Dustin Hazelett, and Marvin Eastman claims that he’s fighting fellow middling middleweight Drew McFedries; the match will be the last one on the Beastman’s UFC contract. Burkman vows to retire if his fight against Hazelett goes to a decision.

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