Opinion: Where Does Ben Saunders Go Now?
MMA veteran Ben Saunders has been released by Bellator and is free to sign with another promotion, according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Saunders previously competed in the Bellator Season 5, Season 6, and Season 8 welterweight tournaments – advancing to the finals twice – losing to Douglas Lima both times. The American fighter was bounced from the Season 6 tournament following a unanimous decision loss to Bryan Baker in 2012.
Saunders’ confirmed the news, saying it was a mutual agreement with Bellator.
Here is what Saunders said via Twitter:
I want to thank @BjornRebney for letting me go. I fullfilled my contract and I wanted to be a free agent again. The future is bright! 🙂
— Ben Saunders (@bensaundersMMA) December 3, 2013
The 30-year-old holds a 16-6-2 professional fight career dating back to 2004, and he hasn’t fought on the regional circuit since 2007.
I’d be surprised if a major MMA promotion doesn’t sign him, as he has faced top-level competition during his career, but he might have to earn a couple wins in a smaller promotion.
Saunders, since he remains popular with hardcore MMA fans, would be a good signing for an MMA promotion like One Fighting Championship or the World Series of Fighting. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s added to the WSOF welterweight division, as Ray Sefo enjoys tough, scrappy fighters well known among MMA fans.
As a rather avid MMA fan, I will tune in for a Saunders fight, even if he ends up fighting outside of North America for some time. He’ll definitely need to rack up a couple of solid wins, against well-known names, if he wants to try and get back into the UFC.
Continue to visit Full Contact Fighter to see where Saunders ends up fighting in 2014.