Ben Saunders (fighter)

Benjamin Saunders (born April 13, 1983), is an American mixed martial artist who currently fights in the Welterweight division. He was a featured fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra, fighting on Team Serra. A professional competitor since 2004, Saunders has formerly competed in the UFC and Bellator.[3]

Ben Saunders
Born (1983-04-13) April 13, 1983 (age 38)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Other namesKilla B
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Reach77+12 in (197 cm)
StyleMuay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofOrlando, Florida, United States
TeamAmerican Top Team (2006–present)
Gracie Barra Orlando (2004–2005)
RankBlack belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu under Eddie Bravo[1]
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Libório[2]
Years active2004–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By submission6
By decision5
By knockout9
By submission1
By decision3
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: January 20, 2010


Saunders was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he lived until he was in the third grade when he moved to Coral Springs, Florida. Saunders parents were divorced, and as a result he lived with his father. His older brother, Jacob, who practiced karate, helped teach his younger brother about the martial art. His twin brother, Joe, is a former member of the Florida Legislature. When Saunders was eight years old, he had a friend who was learning Tang Soo Do, which the two soon began practicing daily. However, due to poor financial status Saunders was unable to pay for legitimate instruction. At the age of 14, Saunders began training in Jeet Kune Do and worked at fast food restaurants so that he could pay the tuition. He worked out with his J. P. Taravella High School wrestling team where he learned wrestling techniques in exchange for submission techniques that he knew. Saunders, although not an instigator of street fights, did not back down from challenges and was also involved in countless street fights while growing up. At the age of 18, Saunders told his parents that he was leaving for Valencia College, when in fact he was going to train with Din Thomas to become a professional fighter.[2]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

The Ultimate FighterEdit

Saunders defeated Dan Barrera in the first round of the competition by majority decision. Saunders reportedly contracted influenza after the Barrera bout. Despite the illness, Saunders competed in the quarter-finals against Tom Speer, losing via unanimous decision.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Saunders defeated Dan Barrera at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs Team Serra Finale by unanimous decision.

In his second career UFC fight, Saunders defeated UFC newcomer Ryan Thomas by armbar in the second round.

In his third career UFC fight he fought Brandon Wolff, defeating him in the first round via TKO with knees from the Thai clinch, landing 42 knees on his opponent. This left Wolff's face a bloody and swollen mess. After the bout many comparisons were made between him and Anderson Silva, who is also known for his Thai clinch prowess.

Saunders' next fight was supposed to be at UFC 96 against Welterweight standout Dustin Hazelett, but due to injury Hazelett pulled out of the match. Saunders was then set to face UFC newcomer Ryan Madigan. However, Saunders later pulled out of the match due to an injured foot.

On February 28, 2009, it was confirmed that Saunders would be facing Mike Swick at UFC 99.[4] Saunders was defeated by Swick by TKO in the second round. As Swick struck, Saunders ducked into Swick's striking range every time which essentially cost him the fight.

Saunders defeated Marcus Davis on November 21, 2009, via KO due to multiple knees at 3:24 into the first round at UFC 106 making him the first man to knock out Davis.[5]

Saunders was expected to face off against top ten welterweight Martin Kampmann at UFC 111 in March. However, an injury forced Kampmann off the card and Saunders was set to face Jake Ellenberger.[6] On March 25, 2010, news broke that Thiago Alves's pre-fight CT scan found an irregularity in his brain, and he was not cleared to fight. Saunders asked to fight Alves's opponent and former #1 contender Jon Fitch, forcing Saunder's opponent Ellenberger out of the match.[7] Saunders lost to Fitch by unanimous decision.

Saunders next faced Dennis Hallman on August 7, 2010 at UFC 117.[8] Ben lost the fight by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28). Following the loss, Saunders was cut from the UFC.[9][10]


On February 3, it was announced by Bellator that they had signed Saunders to compete in their Welterweight division. Although he will not be a part of the Season Four Tournament, Saunders fights aired live on the main card.[11]

At Bellator 39 Saunders defeated Matt Lee by TKO (doctor stoppage) in the third round after brutalizing Lee in the clinch with knees and elbows for most of the fight.

Saunders was expected to fight at Bellator 47 but had to pull out of the event due to an undisclosed injury he suffered in training.[12]

Saunders was expected to face Rick Hawn at Bellator 49.[13] But Hawn later pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury.[14] Saunders instead fought replacement Chris Cisneros. Saunders won by TKO in the third round.[15]

In the semifinals, Saunders faced Luis Santos at Bellator 53. After getting taken down in the beginning of the first round, Saunders controlled the round by stifling Santos' offense and going for many submission attempts, transitioning from the reverse triangle to the omoplata. The second round played out in similar fashion with Saunders almost getting an omoplata and a carni on two separate occasions. Saunders eventually submitted his opponent via americana armlock transitioning from an arm triangle attempt while in half guard in the third round.

In the finals, he faced Douglas Lima at Bellator 57 and lost via KO in the second round.

Saunders took part in Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament. Saunders faced Raul Amaya in the quarterfinals at Bellator 63 and won by unanimous decision.

Saunders lost by unanimous decision to Bryan Baker in the semifinals at Bellator 67.

Saunders defeated Brian Warren in just 22 seconds of the first round by TKO due to Knee Strikes at Bellator 72.

Bellator MMA announced Saunders as a competitor in the Bellator's Season Eight Welterweight Tournament. Saunders defeated Koffi Adzitso via unanimous decision at Bellator 86 in the Quarterfinals.

Saunders rematched Raul Amaya at Bellator 90 in the semifinals and won via KO due to a head kick in round one.

Saunders was scheduled to face Douglas Lima in a rematch in the tournament final at Bellator 93. However, Lima broke his hand so the match was rescheduled for later this year.[16] Saunders eventually faced Lima on September 20, 2013 at Bellator 100. He lost the fight via knockout due to a head kick in the second round. After the loss, Saunders was released from the promotion.

Titan Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

In June 2014, Saunders signed with Titan Fighting Championships. For his first fight with the promotion, Saunders was scheduled face UFC veteran Matt Riddle for the vacant TFC Welterweight Championship at Titan FC 29 on August 22, 2014.[17] Riddle, however, withdrew from the bout and was replaced by MMA veteran Jose Landi-Jons. However, that fight was cancelled when Titan FC granted Saunders permission to return to the UFC.[18]

Return to the UFCEdit

On August 7, 2014, it was announced that Saunders would return to fight for the UFC.[18] Saunders faced promotional newcomer Chris Heatherly on August 23, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 49.[19] He was successful in his return, winning the fight in the first round with the first successful omoplata submission in the UFC. The impressive victory also earned Saunders his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[20]

Saunders then faced Joe Riggs on December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13.[21] He won the fight by TKO due to injury after Riggs hurt his neck during a takedown and tapped out.

Saunders was expected to face Erick Silva on March 21, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 62.[22] However, he pulled out of the fight in early March citing an injury.[23]

Saunders faced Kenny Robertson on July 25, 2015 at UFC on Fox 16.[24] He won the back-and-forth fight by split decision.[25]

Saunders faced Patrick Côté on January 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 81.[26] He lost by TKO in the second round.[27]

Saunders next faced Court McGee on January 15, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 103.[28] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[29]

Saunders faced Peter Sobotta on May 28, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 109.[30] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.[31]

Saunders faced Alan Jouban on February 24, 2018 at UFC on Fox 28.[32] He lost the back-and-forth fight via knockout in the second round.[33] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night bonus.[34]

Saunders faced Jake Ellenberger on June 1, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 131, replacing an injured Bryan Barberena.[35] Saunders won the fight by TKO due to a knee to the liver and punches. This win earn him Performance of the Night award.[36]

Saunders faced Sérgio Moraes on September 22, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 137.[37] He lost the fight via a submission in round two.[38]

Saunders faced Lyman Good on November 3, 2018 at UFC 230, replacing an injured Sultan Aliev.[39] He lost the fight via knockout in round one.[40]

Saunders faced promotional newcomer Takashi Sato on April 27, 2019 at UFC Fight Night: Jacaré vs. Hermansson.[41] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.[42]

Saunders faced Matt Brown December 14, 2019 at UFC 245.[43] He lost the fight via knockout in the second round.[44] The fight marked the last fight of Saunders' prevailing contract and the UFC opted not to renew it, making Saunders a free agent.[45]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
37 matches 22 wins 13 losses
By knockout 11 9
By submission 6 1
By decision 5 3
Draws 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 22–13–2 Matt Brown KO (elbow and punches) UFC 245 December 14, 2019 2 4:55 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 22–12–2 Takashi Sato TKO (punches and elbows) UFC Fight Night: Jacaré vs. Hermansson April 27, 2019 2 1:18 Sunrise, Florida, United States
Loss 22–11–2 Lyman Good KO (punches) UFC 230 November 3, 2018 1 1:32 New York City, New York, United States
Loss 22–10–2 Sérgio Moraes Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Anders September 22, 2018 2 4:42 São Paulo, Brazil
Win 22–9–2 Jake Ellenberger TKO (knee to body and punches) UFC Fight Night: Rivera vs. Moraes June 1, 2018 1 1:56 Utica, New York, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 21–9–2 Alan Jouban KO (punch) UFC on Fox: Emmett vs. Stephens February 24, 2018 2 2:38 Orlando, Florida, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 21–8–2 Peter Sobotta TKO (punches and knee) UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira May 28, 2017 2 2:29 Stockholm, Sweden
Win 21–7–2 Court McGee Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Rodríguez vs. Penn January 15, 2017 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 20–7–2 Jacob Volkmann Submission (armbar) Fight Night at the Island September 9, 2016 1 0:17 Welch, Minnesota, United States
Loss 19–7–2 Patrick Côté TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz January 17, 2016 2 1:14 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 19–6–2 Kenny Robertson Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2 July 25, 2015 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 18–6–2 Joe Riggs TKO (neck injury) UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic December 13, 2014 1 0:57 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 17–6–2 Chris Heatherly Submission (omoplata) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos August 23, 2014 1 2:18 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 16–6–2 Douglas Lima KO (head kick) Bellator 100 September 20, 2013 2 4:33 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Bellator Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Final
Win 16–5–2 Raul Amaya KO (head kick) Bellator 90 February 21, 2013 1 2:56 West Valley City, Utah, United States Bellator Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal
Win 15–5–2 Koffi Adzitso Decision (unanimous) Bellator 86 January 24, 2013 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States Bellator Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Win 14–5–2 Brian Warren TKO (knees) Bellator 72 July 20, 2012 1 0:22 Tampa, Florida, United States
Loss 13–5–2 Bryan Baker Decision (unanimous) Bellator 67 May 4, 2012 3 5:00 Rama, Ontario, Canada Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal
Win 13–4–2 Raul Amaya Decision (unanimous) Bellator 63 March 30, 2012 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Loss 12–4–2 Douglas Lima KO (punches) Bellator 57 November 12, 2011 2 1:21 Rama, Ontario, Canada Bellator Season 5 Welterweight Tournament Final
Win 12–3–2 Luis Santos Submission (americana) Bellator 53 October 8, 2011 3 1:45 Miami, Oklahoma, United States Bellator Season 5 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal
Win 11–3–2 Chris Cisneros TKO (knee and punches) Bellator 49 September 10, 2011 3 0:29 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Bellator Season 5 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Win 10–3–2 Matt Lee TKO (doctor stoppage) Bellator 39 April 2, 2011 3 1:24 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 9–3–2 Elijah Harshbarger TKO (submission to punches and elbows) WEF: Saunders vs. Harshbarger November 6, 2010 1 4:21 Kissimmee, Florida, United States
Loss 8–3–2 Dennis Hallman Decision (unanimous) UFC 117 August 7, 2010 3 5:00 Oakland, California, United States
Loss 8–2–2 Jon Fitch Decision (unanimous) UFC 111 March 27, 2010 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 8–1–2 Marcus Davis KO (knees) UFC 106 November 21, 2009 1 3:24 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 7–1–2 Mike Swick TKO (punches) UFC 99 June 13, 2009 2 3:47 Cologne, Germany
Win 7–0–2 Brandon Wolff TKO (knees) UFC: Fight for the Troops December 10, 2008 1 1:49 Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
Win 6–0–2 Ryan Thomas Submission (armbar) UFC 87 August 10, 2008 2 2:28 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Win 5–0–2 Dan Barrera Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs Team Serra Finale December 8, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–0–2 Charles Blanchard Submission (armbar) Combat Fighting Championships 3 February 17, 2007 1 0:46 Orlando, Florida, United States Won the CFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 3–0–2 Kenny Stevens TKO (punches) Combat Fighting Championship 1 July 15, 2006 3 3:05 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 2–0–2 Rick Delvecchio KO (head kick) Absolute Fighting Championships 15 February 18, 2006 1 4:31 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Win 1–0–2 Reggie Pena Submission (triangle choke) Absolute Fighting Championships 14 December 12, 2005 1 1:12 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Draw 0–0–2 Diego Lionel Vitosky Draw Absolute Fighting Championships 12 April 30, 2005 2 5:00 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Draw 0–0–1 Crafton Wallace Draw Absolute Fighting Championships 8 May 1, 2004 2 5:00 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ eddiebravo10p (February 27, 2020). "Tonight UFC Star/Rubber Guard Assassin @bensaundersmma received his 10th Planet Black Belt 🙏🙏👊🏽😊🖤". Instagram.
  2. ^ a b "Bio - Ben "Killa B" Saunders". Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2007-08-27). "Participants in Ultimate Fighter season six are announced". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  4. ^ "Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders signed for UFC 99". Five Ounces of Pain.
  5. ^ "UFC 106 Results: Ben Saunders Knees Out Marcus Davis". 2009-11-21. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  6. ^ "Kampmann out, Ellenberger faces Saunders at UFC 111 in March". MMAjunkie.
  7. ^ "Jon Fitch replaces Jake Ellenberger, meets Ben Saunders on UFC 111 main card". MMAjunkie.
  8. ^ "Dennis Hallman faces Ben Saunders at UFC 117". Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-05.
  9. ^ "UFC 117: Ben Saunders Cut from the UFC Following Loss to Dennis Hallman". Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Ben Saunders Cut By The UFC". Archived from the original on 2010-08-17. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  11. ^ "Bellator signs UFC vet Ben Saunders for non-tourney fights". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05.
  12. ^ "Saunders Sidelined, Scratched from Bellator's Canadian Debut". Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  13. ^ "Ben Saunders vs. Rick Hawn Highlights Bellator's Welterweight Tournament Field". Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Hawn Injures Knee, Withdraws from Bellator Tournament". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Cisneros Replaces Injured Hawn in Bellator Welterweight Draw". Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Bellator's Douglas Lima Breaks Hand, Tourney Final With Saunders Moves To Summer". March 5, 2013.
  17. ^ "Ben Saunders vs. Matt Riddle set for Titan FC welterweight title fight". June 25, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "With Titan FC's blessing, Ben Saunders returns to UFC". August 7, 2014.
  19. ^ Jason Floyd (2014-08-11). "Ben Saunders returns to the UFC in two weeks, meets Chris Heatherly at UFC Fight Night 49". themmareport. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  20. ^ Staff (2014-08-24). "UFC Fight Night 49 bonuses: Four fighters get $50,000 'Performance' awards". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  21. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-09-22). "Joe Riggs meets Ben Saunders at UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix". Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  22. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2015-01-22). "Ben Saunders vs. Erick Silva added to UFC Fight Night 62 in Rio de Janeiro". Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  23. ^ C.J. Tuttle (2015-03-06). "Injury forces Ben Saunders out of UFC Fight Night bout vs. Erick Silva". Retrieved 2015-03-06.
  24. ^ Staff (2015-05-08). "Kenny Robertson vs. Ben Saunders booked for UFC on FOX 16". Retrieved 2015-05-08.
  25. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2015-07-25). "UFC on FOX 16 results: Ben Saunders uses big, bloody third to edge Kenny Robertson". Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  26. ^ Staff (2015-10-23). "Ben Saunders vs. Patrick Cote added to UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston". Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  27. ^ "UFC Fight Night 81 results: Patrick Cote scores impressive TKO of Ben Saunders". MMAjunkie. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  28. ^ Fox Sports Arizona Staff (2016-11-07). "Welterweights, lightweights added to Phoenix UFC card". Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  29. ^ Andrew Pearson (2017-01-15). "UFC Fight Night 103 results: Ben Saunders edges out Court McGee, shouts out MMA Mania". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  30. ^ Staff (2017-04-07). "Ben Saunders vs. Peter Sobotta set for UFC Fight Night 109". Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  31. ^ Steven Marrocco (2017-05-28). "UFC Fight Night 109 results: Peter Sobotta dismantles Ben Saunders for 2nd-round TKO". Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  32. ^ Jay Reddick (2017-12-19). "Orlando's Ben Saunders gets hometown UFC fight". Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  33. ^ "UFC on FOX 28 results: Alan Jouban KOs friend Ben Saunders in memorable scrap". MMAjunkie. 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  34. ^ "UFC on FOX 28 bonuses: Jeremy Stephens' violent KO gets him $50,000". MMAjunkie. 2018-02-25. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  35. ^ "Jake Ellenberger gets replacement opponent for UFC Fight Night 131 in Utica". MMAjunkie. 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  36. ^ "UFC Fight Night 131 bonuses: You know Marlon Moraes won $50,000 for that KO". MMAjunkie. 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  37. ^ DNA, MMA. "Vieira vs. Evinger & Saunders vs. Moraes toegevoegd aan UFC São Paulo". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  38. ^ "UFC Sao Paulo results: Sergio Moraes becomes first to tap out Ben Saunders". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  39. ^ DNA, MMA (2018-10-20). "Ben Saunders pakt short notice partij tegen Lyman Good tijdens UFC 230 in New York". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  40. ^ "UFC 230 Results: Lyman Good destroys Ben Saunders (VIDEO) |". | 2018-11-04. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  41. ^ Marcel Dorff (2019-03-27). "Ben Saunders meets UFC debutant Takashi Sato during UFC Fort Lauderdale" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  42. ^ Shillan, Keith (2019-04-27). "UFC Fort Lauderdale: Takashi Sato beats Ben Saunders by TKO". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  43. ^ "Matt Brown returns from two-year layoff, faces Ben Saunders at UFC 245". MMA Junkie. 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  44. ^ Hiergesell, Dan (2019-12-14). "UFC 245 Highlights! 'Immortal' Returns, Brutally Stops Saunders". Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  45. ^ Alexander K. Lee (February 18, 2020). "After parting ways with UFC, Ben Saunders interested in fighting for RIZIN".
  46. ^ "UFC Fight Night 131 results: Ben Saunders takes out Jake Ellenberger with brutal knee". MMAjunkie. 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  47. ^ "Ben". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-08-17.

External linksEdit