The season eight welterweight tournament final will finally take place on Friday night as Ben Saunders looks to even up the score with Douglas Lima in the main event of Bellator 100.
The fighters had their first meeting in the season five welterweight tournament final in 2011 and Lima won the fight in the second round by a technical knockout.
Bellator initially wanted to have this fight at the end of season eight, but Lima suffered broken hand in his semifinal bout and the fight was moved into the Summer Series. However, Lima suffered a rib injury in training and Bellator moved the fight once again.
Was the fight being delayed a good or bad situation for Saunders? He explained to TheMMAReport.com that this situation had it’s pros and cons.
“It had it’s pros and cons,” Saunders said. “At the end of the day though what happened, happened and I just have to tell myself everything happens for a reason. I am extremely prepared at this point and time so I can not complain.”
Since his first fight with Lima and in the preparation process for this fight, Saunders has watched the first fight and knows what he did good and bad in their first meeting.
“I watched it a few times but I obviously already watched it when I lost to him the first time. I already knew the good and bad that came out of the fight. What I did good and what I did bad and what he did good and what he did bad. There is really no secrets on the matter.”
“I jumped in with my right hand hook and he threw his over right hook and he connected. That is pretty much how it went down. I think I got sloppy and lost focus to be one hundred percent. That is the biggest thing I can take out of that fight is don’t be stupid out there, don’t lose my focus and don’t give up anything easily. Don’t just give him anything and I think it will be a good fight.”
Many fighters will say that you always learn from your defeats and Saunders learned a hard lesson in his first fight against Lima which was to not force anything that is not open in the fight.
“I’m an aggressive fighter but the thing I learned from that is you can’t force something that is not there. That is what I tried to do and I learned the hard way.”
Earlier this week, Bellator released a quote from Saunders that stated “you just can’t fear Lima, and I never did. I never did!” Saunders explained what he meant by what he said and that Bellator only released a small part of what he said.
“They just took a small part of it and it was not the full quote of what I said and it kind of annoyed me that they put it out there like that. In my opinion, the way they made it sound, I kind of sound like an asshole. The real quote was more along the lines of you can’t fear Lima and I never did. You can not fight him scared. If you fight scared, I don’t think you can win.”
“That was pretty much the point behind it. I think a lot of people and I am sure it goes both ways. I am sure I have fought people that have gone holy [expletive] that’s Ben Saunders and I think he has had fighters that have said holy [expletive] that is Douglas Lima.”
“I don’t know if he would say to their best of their abilities or whatever but it looks like the [Bryan] Baker fight was kind of an example of him just circling the entire time and never stepping in or never doing anything. By the time he actually did, I think he kind of questioned what he was throwing and he got caught. I don’t believe you can fight scared. Not just Lima, anybody.”
If Saunders is able to defeat Lima tomorrow night, it will be his fourth win in a row, win $100,000 and secure him a title shot at the Bellator welterweight title.