Bellator 53 Results

Bellator 53: Saunders vs Santos - fight recap


Event: Bellator 53: Saunders vs Santos

Date: October 8, 2011

Location: Miami, Oklahoma

Venue: Buffalo Run Hotel & Casino

Broadcast: MTV2 and


Bellator 53 Live Odds

Bellator 53 was a mixed martial arts event held by Bellator Fighting Championships. The event took place on October 8, 2011 at the Buffalo Run Hotel & Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima punched their tickets to next month's Bellator season-five welterweight-tournament finale. Both fighters picked up victories in the semifinal round of the tourney, which took place at Saturday's Bellator 53 event at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

While many expected the night's main event between welterweight Muay Thai specialist Ben Saunders and veteran Brazilian striker Luis Santos to be a stand-up war, "Sapo" had different ideas.

Ben Saunders vs Luis Santos:

Saunders, a former UFC fighter and early Bellator tourney favorite, looked smooth once he was taken to the mat. He rotated between triangle-choke and omaplata attempts while shutting down most of Santos' offense. He also tagged the Brazilian with a steady stream of punches from his back that won him the first two rounds.

In the third frame, Saunders (12-3-2 MMA, 3-0 BFC) rolled out of trouble and secured a fight-ending keylock on Santos at the 1:45 mark.

Saunders is all over Santos quick with a body kick and a head kick. Santos gets in a double-leg, but Saunders stands up along the cage. Santos tries to lift the taller Saunders off the ground, but the UFC veteran maintains his balance on his tiptoes in impressive fashion.

A quick Santos counter puts Saunders on the ground, but it's just a flash knockdown as Saunders instantly has his wits back. Santos dives on him, but ends up in the exact same rubber guard triangle set-up again. He gets his head out, and again, ends up in an omoplata. Saunders tries to turn it into a kimura and he rolls Santos, who escapes, but the Brazilian ends up fighting another triangle.

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Ben Saunders def Luis Santos via submissionUFC-Bellator-53-Gambling-Results

Doug Lima def Chris Lozano via KO

Ronnie Mann def Kenny Foster via submission

Thiago Santos def Josh Burns via submission


Giva Santana def Darryl Cobb via submission

A.J. Matthews def Rudy Bears via unanimous decision

Raphael Davis def Myron Dennis via KO

David Rickels def Levi Avera via submission

Luis Nogueira def Zak Laird via submission

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