Breaking Down Bellator: Ben Saunders vs. Douglas Lima | Fighters.com

Breaking Down Bellator: Ben Saunders vs. Douglas Lima

Recommend to your friends!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

On Saturday, Bellator will crown two Season 5 tournament winners with both men moving on to a title-shot with a $100,000 paycheck in hand to boot. One of the fields has featured wild finishes where every fight but one has ended with stoppage, while the other has been highlighted by a wild and enthusiastic personality taking on a slightly more reserved fighter who ended his last bout with a huge exclamation mark. Yesterday I looked at the middleweight final, while today I’ll examine the welterweight war between UFC veteran Ben Saunders and rising star Douglas Lima. I don’t often get things right around here, but these two were my odds-on favorites for making the finals, and this is the fight I want to see most, so I can’t wait for Saturday!

A Breakdown of the Season 5 Middleweight Final

Welterweight Tournament Final: Ben Saunders vs. Douglas Lima

American Top Team has to be proud since they own both spots in the finale here. Lima and Saunders bring two completely different approaches to fighting into the cage. The outspoken Saunders looks for ways to draw eyes to his fights through his brutal Muay Thai attack and somewhat strange promises online. His latest? If he should reach 12,000 Twitters before his fight, he’ll attempt to use a Tiger Uppercut on Lima at some point. He previously promised to throw a Guile Flash Kick and scream obscenities, the latter of which was muzzled by MTV2 and Bellator.

Lima, on the other hand, prefers to speak in the cage, remaining silent throughout the tournament, with the occasional thank you to his fans, and urge to watch his fights. You won’t see any crazy promises or open discussions of Street Fighter because the 23-year old is a bit more reserved in the way he goes about his business.

Saunders is undefeated since his release from the UFC, including perhaps the most impressive victory of his career coming one month ago against Luis Santos. Many wrote “Killa B” off if the fight took to the ground. However, in a fairly shocking turn of events, Saunders easily dominated Santos on the ground and made it look easy with a third round submission victory.

Up north, I’m sure that’s news to American Top Team Atlanta who had probably thought Lima would have a decisive edge if it went to the ground. Lima had floated around from promotion to promotion until he was picked up by Canadian staple MFC and took their welterweight division by storm including a victory over their (then) blue chip prospect Ryan Ford. He followed it up with two stoppages before signing with Bellator to appear in the Season 5 tournament.

Lima’s been nothing short of impressive since debuting. A couple hiccups against Steve Carl in the first round were eradicated with a painful looking knockout victory over Chris Lozano in a fight where many labeled him as the underdog following Lozano’s victory over Brent Weedman. Lima enters the cage Saturday riding an eight-fight winning streak looking to challenge for Bellator gold at the end of this tourney.

Let’s take a look at some of the important tools coming into this fight, and who holds the edge in which area.

Experience Edge: Saunders
This one comes down more to the caliber of opponent Saunders has faced. Saunders has been up there with some of the best fighters already, and found his success at a young age. Lima toiled a bit before making his break but hasn’t been tested very often against the world’s best. Saunders was a bit unfortunate during his UFC run, being placed right smack dab in the middle of Jon Fitch‘s comeback to contention and near the tail end of Mike Swick‘s rise. Saunders’ fight has evolved so much over the last 18 months that it shouldn’t surprise anybody that the results may be different if it were done over again.

Striking Edge: Saunders
I’d never seen Lima strike so crisply until the Lozano fight, which is why I would’ve said Saunders in a walk beforehand. I still think he’s got better strikes, though Lima’s no slouch. Saunders’ Muay Thai is world class, and his foot strikes are probably the best at 170 in Bellator. He’s defeated so many opponents time and again with punishing knees. If this ends up in a clinch, Lima’s going to be in extreme trouble and he’ll want to take it to the ground quickly to get away. Lima’s got great power in his punches, and he’s capable of ending Saunders’ night with a few smartly placed bombs, but Saunders brings the much more multi-dimensional striking game to the fight, and you have to favor him in a standup war.

Grappling/Ground Edge: Slight edge to Lima
Two months ago I would have said Lima without question. Saunders had been dominated on the ground so often that I would say this would be a no-brainer. However, Saunders has been so good so often since joining Bellator that it’s hard not to give credit where credit is due and say this is much closer than before. I still think Lima’s overall experience and versatility may give him the technique edge, however, if Saunders comes in the bigger and stronger fighter, his BJJ skills might work to his advantage.

Momentum Edge: Slight edge to Lima
As I said with the middleweights, sometimes the hot hand feeds to the confidence a fighter brings into their fight and gives them a psychological edge. Saunders entered the wheelhouse of a BJJ specialist, and came out of it making his opponent look like he’d never trained a day in that discipline in his life. However, Lima has title gold around his waist from a fairly major promotion, defeating a couple of respected opponents in doing so. His versatile game was very much on display against Lozano, and showed his striking was closer to Saunders’ level than originally thought. Give Lima a very slight edge, simply based on the quality of wins that brought him here, and the longer winning streak.

I deemed the middleweight final between Vitor Vianna and Alexander Shlemenko the possible “Fight of the Night” but this is the must watch match-up from an MMA purist’s perspective. While Vianna and Shlemenko might remain standing, these two might just stay on the ground the entire time and put on a submission clinic. Both fighters are more than game, and I’m sure they know each others’ game so well that this could be a standstill of skill, or a “Human game of chess” as former pro wrestler Larry Zbyszko so eloquently put it.

Both fighters bring very compelling arguments into the cage for their respective. No matter who is victorious, Call it a win overall for American Top Team who can use this tournament to serve notice that they’re putting some of the world’s most elite fighters.

I didn’t make a prediction for the middleweights, but my feeling coming into this was that Lima would shock the world and take the tournament. With all due respect to Saunders, who I continue to like as a fighter, I’ll stick to my original prediction and take Lima in a split decision. I know it isn’t Bellator’s style, but I hope both fighters get a shot at the title no matter what happens. They both deserve it.

Bellator airs live this Saturday night on MTV 2 in the US, and The Score in Canada. Make note of the new start time which will be 7 PM Eastern, and 4 PM Pacific.

See you cageside!


Recommend to your friends!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Fighters App

Fighters Mobile Apps

Stay on top of the hottest stories and exclusive interviews from the world of MMA with the Fighters.com mobile apps.

Get Apps Now!
MB5-625 642-883 C2040-915 CAT-180 070-646Big5 000-225 000-070 HC-711-ENU C2090-735 000-963 1Z1-225 HP0-M23 700-301 HP5-H01D 70-528-Csharp HP3-X08 E20-522 220-602 HC-623-CHS 1Z0-533 1Z0-048 000-440 HP2-N35 COG-480 HP2-T25 000-870 70-330 9A0-060 LOT-829 000-117 MB7-846 E20-329 HP0-P17 646-580 HP0-Y26 310-880 P2040-052 000-706 HP0-794 ISEBSWTINT_001 220-702 70-482 310-100 HP0-D17 1Z1-515 70-298 920-464 C2020-642 70-665J HP2-B82 1Y0-A04 000-N33 E20-331 HP0-085 SG0-001 000-294 1Z0-873 1Z0-052 1T6-530 GB0-540 070-553-VB 070-699 000-236 000-296 070-300 HP2-Z19 000-967 HP0-Y38 MB5-629 P2090-010 70-214 SSCP 074-322 3I0-008 C4070-623 P2090-079 MB6-504 070-653 HP2-K30 642-445 E20-554 090-091 250-530 000-605 000-588 1Z0-531 A2040-988 PgMP 70-689 9A0-182 642-444 70-232 920-336 FM0-302 70-521-Csharp A2040-986 640-861 70-238 000-546 070-569 000-R06 510-020 70-568 P2050-007 642-887 1Z1-259 HIO-301 000-142 1Z0-519 050-690 000-120 A4040-226 920-804 ECP-102 50-690 050-894 HP2-E53 HP3-X09 HP0-J35 050-692 1Z1-862 000-751 HP0-920 000-314 NS0-120 70-571GB2312 000-978 ICDL-Access 1Z1-043 A2090-421 MB2-422 070-262 A4040-224 1Z0-518 1Y0-973 920-808 920-530 70-123 70-458 1Z1-219 000-108 HP2-T14 000-284 070-542-VB C_TBW45_70 HP2-H08 A2180-605 70-416 HP0-J43 000-341 70-177 G2700 HP0-J16 MB7-231 HC-832-CHS 922-071 CAT-380 310-231 070-332 ST0-91X SPS-100 HP0-733 070-665J CA1-001 E22-250 1Z1-574 HP0-760 E20-570 C90-05A HP2-N43 HP0-S19 70-460 BAS-010 9A0-061 310-011 000-169 1D0-538 133-S-713 E20-665 000-371 74-132 1Z1-560 EUCOC E20-597 MB6-871 JN0-341 C2150-198 E20-455 HH0-260 E20-594 EC0-232 000-018 1Z0-889 132-S-911.2 A4040-129 HP0-Y46 TB0-118 E20-830 SU0-224 win 7 key Win 7 key online Win 7 key sale Win 7 key product key Win 7 ultimate key cheap Win 7 key microsoft office 2013 key Office 2013 key Office 2010 key Office 2010 keys windows 8 key windows 8.1 key windows 8.1 product key Windows 7 key Windows 7 ultimate key Windows 7 product key Windows 7 key store buy Windows 7 key windows 10 key windows 10 product key Windows Server 2012 key Windows 8 key online win 7 key Win 7 key online Win 7 key sale Win 7 key product key Win 7 ultimate key cheap Win 7 key microsoft office 2013 key Office 2013 key Office 2010 key Office 2010 keys windows 8 key windows 8.1 key windows 8.1 product key Windows 7 key Windows 7 ultimate key Windows 7 product key Windows 7 key store buy Windows 7 key Windows Server 2012 key Windows 8 key online win 7 key Win 7 key online Win 7 key sale Win 7 key product key Win 7 ultimate key cheap Win 7 key microsoft office 2013 key Office 2013 key Office 2010 key Office 2010 keys windows 8 key windows 8.1 key windows 8.1 product key Windows 7 key Windows 7 ultimate key Windows 7 product key Windows 7 key store buy Windows 7 key windows 10 key windows 10 product key Windows Server 2012 key Windows 8 key online Windows 7 プロダクトキ` Windows 8 プロダクトキ` Windows 8.1 プロダクトキ` Windows 8 pro プロダクトキ` Windows 8.1 pro プロダクトキ` Windows 7 Professional プロダクトキ` Windows 7 Ultimate プロダクトキ` Windows 7 Home Premium プロダクトキ` Windows 7 Home Premium ダウンロ`ド井 Windows 8 Pro ダウンロ`ド井 Windows 8.1 Pro ダウンロ`ド井