Ben Saunders is back in the big show. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Last week, it was revealed that welterweight Ben Saunders had rejoined the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now, “Killa B” has an opponent for his return.
The organization Monday announced that Saunders will meet Octagon newcomer Chris Heatherly on Aug. 23 in Tulsa, Okla., as part of UFC Fight Night “Henderson vs. dos Anjos.” The Fox Sports 1-broadcast card takes place at Tulsa’s BOK Center, topped by a lightweight duel between top contenders Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos.
After being released by the UFC in 2010, Saunders signed with Bellator MMA, where he compiled a 7-3 record and was a two-time runner-up in the company’s welterweight tournaments. The rangy 31-year-old last saw action in September 2013, when he was felled by a head-kick knockout in a rematch with Douglas Lima. Saunders was slated to compete for Titan Fighting Championship against Jose Landi-Jons on Aug. 22 but was granted his release from the Kansas-based promotion in order to sign with the UFC.
Heatherly, 26, enters the Octagon with an 8-1 record, including a pair of bouts with UFC feeder organization Resurrection Fighting Alliance. The stocky “Stump” last competed at RFA 16 on July 25, when he scored a second-round submission against Josh Cavan.