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Saunders Grades Askren, Bellator 100 Will Crown “Unofficial” Champ

ben saunders

If you missed it, due to massive spotlight shining on tomorrow’s UFC 165 card, will Bellator 100 go down tonight in Phoenix and will feature a compelling fight between Douglas Lima and UFC vet Ben Saunders. Not only is it a big card when you consider Bellator has already held 100 shows  (it started up in 2009), but Lima-Saunders is a long awaited rematch between two of the promotion’s top fighters. Lima KO’d Saunders at Bellator 57 in 2011.

In addition, tonight’s fight will determine the promotion’s last welterweight tourney winner, and it also takes place at a time when no one knows if champion Ben Askren will be back. “Funky” is a free agent, and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has made it sound like they’re not going to throw a ton of cash the renowned wrestler’s way. So, what could that mean for the winner of tonight’s bout? Saunders recently had this to say about the circumstances surrounding tonight’s fight (comments via MMA Fighting.com).

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with him, but as of right now, I feel that [Lima and I are] the two top welterweights on Bellator’s roster. This is for the tournament championship, but at the same time, I don’t think anyone can deny that me and him are probably No. 1 and No. 2 ranking-wise for Bellator. So I’d believe that this would be considered an unofficial title fight in it’s own right.”

“Killa B” also offered this take on Askren, who he says he’s still hoping to battle at some point.

“I would give Askren maybe a third-degree black belt in wrestling. I would say he’s probably a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. And striking, man, anybody can choose their rankings on that one, but I’d say maybe low-level blue belt. So if you look at it, on paper, it would be a very, very entertaining match-up. I have no problem fighting of my back. I really receive no damage there. You can lose rounds, for sure, but I’m tricky.

Bellator 100 will be hosted by the Grand Canyon University Arena and will be broadcast on SPIKE. It will also feature the opening round of the promotion’s next welterweight tourney.

Stay tuned to Caged Insider.com for all your Bellator news and coverage.