Ben Saunders vs. Raul Amaya
Main Card | Tournament Quarter-Finals | 170 lbs
Ben Saunders defeats Raul Amaya via 3 Round Decision
|12-4-2||Pro Record At Fight||9-0-0|
|-550 | Heavy Favorite||Betting Odds||+400 | Heavy Underdog|
|United States||Nationality||United States|
|Orlando, Florida||Fighting out of||Bradenton, Florida|
|American Top Team||Gym||Champions MMA|
|28||Age at Fight||26|
|170.0 lbs (77.1 kgs)||Weigh-In Result||170.0 lbs (77.1 kgs)|
|6'3" (190cm)||Height||5'10" (178cm)|
|77.5" (197cm)||Reach||71.0" (180cm)|
- Bout Information
- Date: Friday 03.30.2012 at 08:00 PM ET
- Referee: Todd Anderson
- Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena
- Enclosure: Cage
- Location: Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
- Bout Billing: Main Card (fight 5 of 10)
- Weight: Welterweight | 170 lbs (77.1 kg)
- TV Commentary: Sean Wheelock, Jimmy Smith
- Broadcast: Aired Live on Main Card
- Post-Fight Interviewer: Jimmy Smith
- Saunders Total Disclosed Pay: None Disclosed
- Amaya Total Disclosed Pay: None Disclosed
- Tournament: Bellator Season 6 Welterweight
- Tournament Round: Quarter-Finals
Amaya and Saunders took to the cage for the first bout on the main card in a Welterweight Tournament Quarter-Final.
Amaya cut angles early and ducked under a big head kick to grab a rear body clinch before dropping down to a single leg. Saunders defended the takedown with a Kimura and spun Amaya into the fence, landing some big knees to the body. Amaya shot in for another deep takedown attempt but Saunders again reversed him with a Kimura and this time landed on top of Amaya in a scramble, where he worked some ground and pound that forced Amaya to roll to his knees. Saunders landed some brutal GSP-esque knees to the body then continued to dominate the clinch action when the fight returned to its feet. Saunders nearly snatched an Armbar in the closing minute but Amaya rolled out of it only to find himself caught in a loose Triangle at the bell.
Amaya closed the distanc quickly in the second round and attacked with strikes and takedown attempts, but Saunders landed a knee in the clinch and continued to prove that Amaya had no answer for him there. On the ground, Saunders sank his hooks in and switched to the body triangle, only to lose his dominant position and find himself on the bottom after going for another Armbar. Saunders got back to his feet, landed another big knee and got taken down in the center of the cage. Saunders locked in a tight Triangle and broke down Amaya's base but Amaya again escaped and stayed on Saunders. Amaya postured up to land some strikes before Saunders got control of him again. Saunders got Amaya in another tight Armbar but let go of it when Amaya stood, briefly complaining to the ref that he believed Amaya verbally tapped. Amaya put some more gusto into his ground and pound bursts in the final minute, looking to steal a close round.
Amaya came out for the third more tentative, his left eye swollen shut. Suddenly Amaya charged forward with strikes only to be slip and wind up on the bottom in Saunders's full mount. Saunders went for an Armbar instead of throwing strikes but Amaya ended up taking Saunders's back before taking full mount and landing a few strikes. Saunders rolled to his knees and Amaya stayed on him, but Saunders shucked him off and took top position in Amaya's guard. Saunders took Amaya's back in another scramble and flattened him out to land hooks to the sides of Amaya's head. Amaya rolled and Saunders took full mount, landing more short strikes from the top. Amaya rolled again and Saunders took the body triangle and continued to land shots until the bell.
The judges scored the bout 30-26, 30-27, and 30-27 for Saunders, giving him the Unanimous Decision victory and a pass to the Semi-Finals.