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Jon Fitch vs. Ben Saunders booked for UFC 111

Earlier today it was reported that Thiago Alves had been forced out of his upcoming UFC 111 rematch with fellow welterweight title contender Jon Fitch, and with it a large chunk of the mixed martial arts community sagged their shoulders with dissapointment.

That was until just moments ago when Fitch released the following message via his Twitter account:

They found a replacement. I’m fighting on sat night!!!

Ben Saunders to the rescue.

Saunders has been tapped to replace Alves against Fitch at UFC 111 according to multiple sources.

Saunders had previously been tabbed to face off with the heavy handed Jake Ellenberger at the event. There is no word currently of a replacement opponent being brought in for Ellenberger with two days left before fight time, but it’s not out of the question.

Fitch is riding a three fight win streak heading into Saturday’s UFC 111 bout with who he believed was going to be Thiago Alves until this morning. A win over Alves would have likely justified an immediate title shot against the winner of George St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out if the AKA trained fighter can get by Saunders with Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley coming up at UFC 113, which could also hold potential title shot implications.

Fitch will be entering UFC 111 with consecutive victories over the likes of Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago and Mike Pierce following a UFC 87 title defeat at the hands of GSP, while Saunders recently demolished Marcus Davis with a knee from hell after being TKO’d by Fitch’ training partner, Mike Swick.

  • Rece Rock says:

    hope they still pay Jake…
    can’t wait for Saturday…
    and best wishes to Thiago!

  • inkythewinky says:


  • nate says:

    there is NO way that wont pay Jake E. there is just no way, it’d be a huge insult to fighters. if they can find a replacement it’ll be a greenhorn making his debut or a journeymen fighter. im willing to bet they gave ben a chunk of change just to take this fight. i mean he was training for an up & comer striker & now has to face a top 5 in the world ww’s who is an outstanding grappler on 48hrs notice. man. if the killa bee pulls this off he leapfrogs to the front for a title shot imo. conversely fitch was atleast training for a striker all along so his gameplan wont be alot different. man this is exciting!

  • Rich S. says:

    Nice fight..
    Saunders is one of my favorite fighters and he has the opportunity of a lifetime in this matchup..
    It would be awesome to see the upset but it doesn’t seem likely..

  • Guthookd says:

    I’d love to see Saunders come out on top as well. He’s surprized me before so I’m not going to count him out.

    I will be stoked it it gets out of the first round though, really.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    fuck ben saunders i’d rather see Jake Ellenberger fight Fitch

  • manny says:

    i just read that if ben saunders defeats fitch, he’ll get the title shot next ( per DW).
    Although I disagree with it, I still don’t think he will win,. Fitch by decision on a grappling match. Just like he’s won most of his fights. Fitch will not get a title shot winning like this.

  • doonerthesooner says:

    Saunders is gonna get rolled, Ellenberger would be a much better fight.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I cant see Saunders, who was koed by Swick three fights ago, getting a title shot if he beats Fitch. Most likely we see the winner of Kos vs Daley getting the title shot(Assuming both of them stay healthy)
    If Saunders wins he will likely need to beat another top 5 guy to get a title shot.

  • doonerthesooner says:

    and yes they stated Jake will be received his fight pay and win bonus

  • doonerthesooner says:

    If Saunders wins why not give him the shot Fitch is the consensus #2

  • nate says:

    exactly. fitch is #2 you defeat him you get a shot. also the kos/daley winner will get a shot too. i mean everyone will get a chance. the NEXT shot @ the ww belt will be determined by the damage taken by each of the winners & more importantly by how each winner wins. like if saunders ko’s fitch brutally & takes no damage & kos grinds out daley & seperates his shoulder im assuming saunders would get the shot first & kos second in that scenario. all i know is i cant wait for saturday night.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Lucky guy Saunders is. What an opportunity. Use them knees boy! Finish Fitch

  • bigbadjohn says:

    bound to be a decision. But when you step up to the challenge like Ben has, you’re a shoe in for a FOTN bonus. So watch out for the rear naked because thats Fitchs only finishing move

  • doonerthesooner says:

    bigbadjohn: Lucky guy Saunders is. What an opportunity. Use them knees boy! Finish Fitch  

    He better be lucky he’s gonna need it. If he tries to get inside on Fitch and use those knees he’s gonna end up on his back just like he did when he fought Swick. I don’t even have to bring up the difference between Swick trying to take you down and Fitch.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    If fitch wins he better get the next shot he deserves it

    but if dealy wins I want Paul vs fitch


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