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Ben Saunders among winners at Bellator Season 5 opener

The inaugural event of Bellator’s fifth season took place over the weekend and delivered on a number of levels. Not only were there finishes in all five of the night’s preliminary pairings, streamed live through Spike.com for the first time in promotional history, but all four welterweight tournament tussles were relatively even with one exception – Ben Saunders.

Part of the Ultimate Fighter 6 cast, “Killa B” Saunders stung opponent Chris Cisneros multiple times throughout their fight with crisp kicks, precise punches, and a number of nasty knees in the clinch including those finishing the fight early on in the third round. The 28-year old out of American Top Team improved his record to 11-3-2 with the victory including ten wins via some form of stoppage.

Joining Saunders in the semifinals were Chris Lozano whose all-out war with up-and-comer Brent Weedman was a display of heart on the parts of both, as well as Luis Santos who upset Bellator veteran Dan Hornbuckle via decision and 19-4 youngster Douglas Lima who weathered an early storm by Steve Carl but still came away with the dubya.

Here is the full list of Bellator 49 results:

Azunna Anyanwu def. J.A. Dudley via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Lester Caslow def. James Jones via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Joel Roberts def. Brylan VanArtsdalen via Technical Submission Round 2 (Triangle Choke)
Giedrius Karavackas def. LeVon Maynard via TKO Round 3 (Strikes)
Alexandre Bezerra def. Scott Heckman via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Douglas Lima def. Steve Carl via Unanimous Decision
Luis Santos def. Dan Hornbuckle via Unanimous Decision
Ben Saunders def. Chris Cisneros via TKO Round 3 (Strikes)
Chris Lozano def. Brent Weedman via Unanimous Decision

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

MMATraining Take: Saturday night’s show lived up to the high expectation set by previous Bellator offerings, a true credit to their fighters and executive team making the match-ups happen. I’m not sure how the semifinals are set up but I demand Lima and Saunders square off at some point. There’s absolutely no way that fight won’t be pure fire on the entertainment front.

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