Polish-German welterweight Peter Sobotta ended Ben Saunders’ resurgence with a powerful display in Stockholm. After a hard-hitting round and a half, Sobotta put Saunders away to earn a big win in the UFC welterweight division.
Saunders approached the bout in fine form. Since returning to the UFC in 2014, “Killa B” had won five of his six promotional bouts. That run moved Saunders to within touching distance of the UFC top 15 at 170 pounds.
Sobotta was also achieving greater success in his second run with the company. Wins over Pawel Pawlak, Steve Kennedy and Nicolas Dalby had cemented Sobotta’s spot on the roster. The only defeat on the 30-year-old’s recent record was against Kyle Noke at UFC 193.
Something had to give in Stockholm, and it was Saunders’ run that came to an end.
Sobotta came out firing, landing a big right hand in the opening seconds that had Saunders stumbling backwards in search of his feet.
The Polish-German welterweight’s power appeared to be making Saunders hesitant, understandably so given the number of times, it was felt in the first round. Saunders was cut around his eye and finding it hard to commit to closing the distance.
With around a minute left in the first round, Sobotta landed hard again, dropping Saunders and swarming for a finish. Killa B recovered, retaining guard and finding mission control while landing useful elbows as the round ended.
Everything Sobotta threw had malicious intent, from his counter punches to his leg kicks. Saunders was about to be wobbled once again.
After catching a Saunders kick in the second round, Sobotta cracked him with a terrifying punch. Saunders stumbled around the cage, chased by Sobotta before momentarily finding his footing. The respite would not last long.
Another hard left hand dropped Saunders to his knees. As Saunders bounced back up, Sobotta landed a crushing knee that prompted the referee to leap in between the two fighters and call off the action at 2:29 of the second round.
The win was Sobotta’s ninth in his last 10 fights. After the bell, Sobotta told Dan Hardy that he broke his hand at the beginning of the second round, before asking for a top ten opponent next time out.