It was announced a matter of days ago that Ben Saunders would make his return to the UFC, and now his return has a date. ‘Killa B’ will meet UFC debutant Chris Heatherly on August 23 at UFC Fight Night 49 in a welterweight bout, his first Octagon appearance since 2010.
Ben Saunders was set to fight Matt Riddle for the Titan FC welterweight title, though Riddle suffered an injury and was replaced by Jose Landi-Jons. Just days after the announcement, ‘Pele’ had visa issues, and as a result the UFC decided to pursue Saunders, with Titan FC allowing the 31 year-old go in an admirable move.
Luckily for Saunders, his lengthy training camp has not gone to waste, as he will step inside the Octagon for the eighth time in less than two weeks time. Saunders posted a 4-3 record under the UFC banner, with three of the losses coming in his last four appearances leading to the promotion cutting ties with the 170-pounder. Since being let go, he has gone 8-3, including an impressive 7-3 record at Bellator.
Chris Heatherly is 8-1 as a professional and is unbeaten in his last four, competing most recently with Nebraska-based promotion RFA. ‘Stump’ has a win over Dakota Cochrane on his resumé, and has fought against the likes of Chidi Njokuana and current UFC talent Alex Garcia, though Saunders will undoubtedly pose his toughest test to date.
Will Heatherly spoil the return of Saunders, or will the 31 year-old pick up his fifth UFC win?
The bout is expected to be the sole UFC Fight Pass prelim of the card, which is headlined by a lightweight tilt between Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos on August 23 at BOK Centre in Tulsa, OK.