Saunders Likely Participant for Bellator 47 on July 23

By Chris Nelson May 30, 2011
Ben Saunders will get at least one more bout under his belt before entering Bellator Fighting Championships’ fifth-season welterweight tournament. on Monday learned from a source close to the event that the 28-year-old “Killa B” has been tabbed as a participant for Bellator 47, the second live show in the promotion’s “Summer Series,” scheduled to air July 23 on MTV2. No location or venue has been announced; Saunders’ opponent is also unknown at this time.

A participant on the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Saunders enjoyed a seven-fight Octagon stay after his stint on the reality show, compiling a UFC record of 4-3. Despite notching vicious knockouts of Marcus Davis and Brandon Wolff, back-to-back decision defeats to wrestlers Jon Fitch and Dennis Hallman saw the muay Thai specialist bounced from the Zuffa ranks in August 2010.

Saunders rebounded in November with a first-round stoppage of Elijah Harshbarger under the World Extreme Fighting banner and shortly thereafter closed a multi-fight deal with Bellator. The Floridian made his debut for the company at Bellator 39 on April 2, brutalizing Matt Lee on the feet for two periods before forcing a doctor stoppage in the third.

Confirmed to join Saunders in the fifth-season welterweight field, which begins at an unspecified September event, are recent signees Douglas Lima and Luis “Sapo” Santos. Also rumored to fill slots in the eight-man field are former champion Lyman Good, second-season finalist Dan Hornbuckle, fourth-season finalist Rick Hawn, and Bellator newcomer Michael Costa. The tournament winner receives $100,000 in total earnings and a shot at the division’s titleholder -- either current champ Ben Askren or top contender Jay Hieron.

Mike Whitman contributed to this report.

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