Ben Saunders Discusses Upcoming Bellator Tournament Final
By MATT MOLGAARD
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Bellator season 5 welterweight tournament finalist, Ben Saunders just spoke with the Sherdog Radio Network, and expressed both surprise at his road to the finals, as well as genuine respect for his opponent, Douglas Lima.
In the opening round of the tournament, â€œKilla Bâ€ disposed of Chris Cisneros with a well-rounded attack that culminated in an early third round technical knockout. Benâ€™s next bout, while aesthetically a bit different, ultimately resulted in another stoppage victory, as he submitted the extremely experienced, Luis Santos with a keylock in the boutâ€™s final frame.
â€œI can honestly say these past two tournament fights have not really been what I expected them to be. The fact that the jiu-jitsu kind of came out in both of them, I can say that Iâ€™ve been able to pretty much come out of each fight uninjured and pretty awesome for the following rounds.â€
When addressing his attitude toward Bellatorâ€™s tournament format, Saunders insists that the tight schedule wasnâ€™t about to alter his gameplan.
â€œIâ€™m not going to change my style because I donâ€™t want to think about the next round and I donâ€™t want to change who I am and possibly make a boring fight just because I want to make it through the rounds,â€ stated Saunders. â€œNo, I didnâ€™t care that it was a tournament. If I went out there and I threw a kick to the dudeâ€™s head and knocked him out and broke my foot and couldnâ€™t move on to the next round, thatâ€™s how I wanted to go out. It just so happened that they would take me down or somehow it ended up on the ground, and we kind of went with it there.â€
As for Lima, who is also an American Top Team representative (Saunders trains out of Orlando, while Lime trains out of Atlanta), Saunders has nothing but praise and respect to issue.
â€œItâ€™s going to be a war,â€ he said. â€œHeâ€™s just like me. Heâ€™s very passionate about mixed martial arts, and it seems like heâ€™s created a style to be very good at. Heâ€™s got good boxing. Heâ€™s got really good jiu-jitsu. Heâ€™s definitely going to be probably my toughest opponent, and itâ€™s going to be an honor to fight him. May the best man win.â€
The two collide to determine the tournament victor at Bellator 57, which emanates from the Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada on November 12th.
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