Former UFC welterweight Ben Saunders got back in the win column on Saturday night, striking his way to a decisive first-round victory over Elijah Harshbarger for the World Extreme Fighting promotion in Kissimmee, Fla.
Competing for the first time since his August release from the UFC, Saunders spent the early going defending takedown attempts from the clinch, but soon created distance and zapped Harshbarger with a stiff right hook. When Harshbarger attempted to lure Saunders into his guard, Saunders motioned him back to his feet, where “Killa B” proceeded to pour on a barrage of knees and kicks. After a flurry of punches opened a cut on Harshbarger’s face and left him trapped at the base of the cage with Saunders pummeling from above, the “Ameri-jitsu” inventor was forced to submit just four minutes into the opening round.
“I hit him with a right hand that cut the left side of his eye,” Saunders said. “My corner -- [Ricardo] Liborio and Ralph Acosta -- was saying ‘elbows, elbows!’ So, I elbowed him and passed his guard to the side, some more elbows, and he tapped to strikes.”
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