- HAZELETT VS SAUNDERS SET FOR UFC 96

January 5, 2009
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by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Two of the most exciting fighters in the UFC welterweight division are set to square off in Columbus, Ohio, as American Top Team fighter Ben Saunders and submission specialist Dustin Hazelett have agreed to meet at the event on March 7. The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Monday.

As a cast member for the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Ben Saunders proved he had the talent to hang with the best fighters during the show, but his true skill has been shown in his last few fights.

His last bout out, Saunders turned into a Muay Thai machine, pummeling opponent Brandon Wolff about the head and ears with knee strikes before the referee finally stopped the punishment at just under the two-minute mark of the first round.

Saunders has been considered a top prospect coming out of the American Top Team for some time now, but his opponent has also become recognized for his highlight style finishes.

Dustin Hazelett, who currently holds an impressive 5-2 record in the UFC, comes into this bout fresh off of an armbar victory over Tamdan McCrory in November 2008.

Training with Team Jorge Gurgel in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home state kid will get his second crack at fighting in front of the Buckeye faithful as he brings his unbelievable submission game to town. Hazelett has won numerous “Submission of the Night” awards from the UFC and has said that he hopes to hold the record for that accomplishment by the time his days of fighting are over.

The bout between Saunders and Hazelett comes on the heels of the news that Jim Miller would take on Gray Maynard in a lightweight showdown.

No main event has been named for the event, but former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is rumored to return for his next bout as a part of the card.

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