Ben Saunders Says He's Looking Forward to Facing Douglas Lima
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 09.20.2013
It goes down this weekend...
Ben Saunders recently spoke with the Phoenix New Times about his fight with Douglas Lima at Bellator 100. Check out the highlights:
On his nickname Killa B: "It comes from my teammates giving it to me from kind of a situation that occurred out here in Orlando, but it also came down from my love of hip-hop and rap and Wu-Tang Clan."
On how Bellator is different than the UFC: "I wouldn't say one's better than the other. The big, defining difference would be the tournament format [in Bellator]. That was the original reason I signed up with them. The whole idea of three fights in three months was kind of bringing me back to the old school tournament days of the original UFC. And they don't have that any more. [Some] promotions don't do that no more for whatever reason. So that's what intrigued me and that's why I'm here. That's what I joined up to do."
On whether he has any bad feelings about being cut from UFC years ago: "ah, I never had bad feelings. I don't even know who stated that. The only issue they even cut me because of wrestling ability and the fact that UFC was overrun with elite wrestlers...they were phenomenal wrestlers in the UFC that were able to wrestle [and] take people to the ground and control them and try to work "ground and pound" for the most part. And at the time, that was the one aspect of my game that I was lacking the most. I came from more of a traditional striking background and I was a huge fan of jiu-jitsu and working off my back so I was comfortable in both zones. And I always created my style for that reason. I'm going to keep it standing, I'm going to keep it exciting, I'm going to go for the knock out. And if they take me down, I'm going to [try to] sweep or stand back up. But again, the top elite wrestlers in the world are good at controlling on the ground and at winning the game. It's a game. There are judges and there's a time limit. So you got to be aware of the game."
On headlining the show: "Yeah. But I've been there before with Bellator and it's no different to me, man. I've been in some really big shows and fought some really big names, so it's sort of just another day at the office."
On whether he's motivated by having lost to Lima previously: "I'm definitely down for the whole tit-for-tat aspect [but] revenge or any of that is not necessarily there, but I'm sure he's confident and I'm motivated, so that's gonna be really where the clash is gonna be. I'm extremely motivated to get that "W" and win this damn tournament."
On the stakes of the fight: "Basically, if you win a Bellator tournament, you win a shot at the title. And that's kind of a question mark as far as who the [welterweight] titleholder would be or who the fight would be against, 'cause the current champ [Ben Askren] is currently a free agent. So I don't know if he's re-signing or really what the plan is with all that...that's all on Bellator's side. I'm focused on winning this, so I'm not really paying attention [to] so much of the "what ifs" and "could'ves" of what Ben Askren plans on doing with his career, and I don't really know what Bellator's stance is on if he does or does not choose to stay."
On whether the delay of the fight has been frustrating or given him extra training time: "I'd say more frustrating than anything, but I've used my time wisely. So I'm coming into this fight very, very well prepared. I didn't need the time. In fact, it was seven months of me being completely healthy that I was kind of benched. And considering that this is all I do for a living, that kind of screwed up damn near a lot of time for finances. But I plan on coming out there and I plan on winning. So it will all be worth it."
On whether he's rewatched his first fight with Lima or relived that loss: "Oh, I've definitely watched a few times. In all honesty, I thought I won the first round and I thought I was winning the second round. And he capitalized on some lack of focus and mistakes that I made jumping in, not having my feet up under me, and trying to go for the big Hail Mary knockout punch. And he came in with his own and he connected. And then he did a good job of finishing the job and getting the ref to jump in. But at the end of the day, a fight's a fight. I respect the man for the skills that he has and I assume he respects me for what I'm capable of. If he thinks he's going to steamroll through me or anything like that, my plan is to go out there and prove him wrong. But he's very intelligent from what I've seen and from speaking with him. And obviously, I know his camp and who he trains with and they're very intelligent people too. I don't think for one second that they're going to think it's going to be an easy fight by any means."