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UFC Fight Night 49: Ben Saunders isn't a baby anymore, ready to make an impact in second UFC run

And he doesn't care if he's the first fight of the night, he's just happy to be back in the big show.

Esther Lin

Though Ben Saunders won't get to see firsthand all the changes Scott Coker is making to Bellator, "Killa B" is stoked to get another chance to compete inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.

Thanks, Titan FC.

This time, Saunders is stepping into the cage a much more experienced fighter than he was back in 2007, when The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alum made his Octagon debut. After starting off his UFC career with a 3-1 mark, Ben went 1-2, dropping two in a row, which was enough to earn him his walking papers.

And now that he's made all the proper changes to his fight game, Saunders is determined to make an impact in a very crowed welterweight division.

He broke it down for FOX Sports:

"The bottom line was the entire division is overrun with high-level wrestlers. You're not able to keep the fight standing and your jiu-jitsu, you either need to get better to get back to your feet or get deadly off your back and I completely understood. I got it and I worked on it. It took time and I don't believe it took as much time as it took, but at the end of the day, the one great thing I can say about Bellator, is I got a lot of experience under my belt. I left the UFC as a child, I was a baby and I'm coming back with 11 more fights under my belt and proving that I have that veteran background now to really make an impact in my division."

As far as his placement on the upcoming UFC Fight Night 49 card, which goes down this weekend (Aug. 23, 2014) from Tulsa, Oklahoma, "Killa-B" says he doesn't care where it is, he's just happy to once again be under the bright lights of UFC.

A goal he set for himself immediately after being released back in 2010.

"I'm here to fight. I'm just happy the UFC came up and they made it happen. I might be the first fight of the night and that's the best news of it all because I'm looking to get the show started right."

For the record, Ben's fight against Octagon newcomer Chris Heatherly is the second fight of the night and will air on FOX Sports 2.

After opting not to renegotiate with Bellator, Saunders unloaded on its former president, Bjorn Rebney, soon thereafter and applauded the hiring of Coker, saying that the change would be a positive for all current Bellator fighters.

He wasn't wrong.

How about it, Maniacs, can Saunders make some noise in a division that has plenty of contenders worthy of challenging for the title?

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