UFC 111: Ben Saunders Harnessing His Inner Bruce Lee for Jon Fitch

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UFC 111: Ben Saunders Harnessing His Inner Bruce Lee for Jon Fitch

UFC welterweight Ben Saunders began his martial arts career studying Jeet Kune Do, a concept created by Bruce Lee, who summarized his free-flowing fighting philosophy as “using no way as way.”

That tutelage will serve the 26-year-old well this Saturday at UFC 111, as he unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of a top contender scrap against Jon Fitch after fellow American Top Teamer Thiago Alves was forced out today due to medical concerns.

Saunders was originally penciled-in to fight Martin Kampmann this weekend inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, however the Xtreme Couture-trained fighter sustained a severe cut and was replaced by Jake Ellenberger.

Although his date for UFC 111 has changed once again, on less than 72 hours notice this time around, “Killa B” claims that it won’t phase him as he stays true to his Jeet Kune Do ways.

“As far as the opponent changing in the cage, that doesn’t matter to me at all,” Saunders told 5thRound.com in an exclusive interview. “I’ve created my style where I’m able to win no matter where the fight is held, whether it’s on my back, in the clinch, against the cage, on top, or in the standing position.

“I’m capable of winning by any means necessary. It doesn’t matter who they give me.”

That sounds eerily similar to something Mr. Lee would say, doesn’t it?

Many consider Bruce Lee the Godfather of MMA. He was the first to stress the importance of learning multiple disciplines because the genius believed that in a real street fight you would need to be well-rounded in all facets.

Saunders took his JKD game to another level when he added the relentless and intimidating mentality of the legendary Chute Boxe academy to his deadly arsenal.

“The kind of fighter that I am fighting and how they attack me is how I will attack or come at them,” Saunders said of his unpredictable ways. “I have a Chute Boxe-type of mentality, which I am a huge fan of [the Brazilian mixed martial arts team], and that is that you will fear me.

“I will dictate the pace and I will come at you, and when my shin hits your forearm, your head, your body...you’re not going to want it.”

It was reported by TMZ.com earlier today that UFC president Dana White has promised Saunders a title shot if he can come up with a way to end Fitch’s three-fight winning streak.

Knowing Ben “Killa B” Saunders, he’ll find a way...by using no way.

(Evan Shoman @shomanart created Ben’s portrait above. Please visit ShomanArt.com for more of Evan’s masterful work.)

 

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