The UFC has recently promoted long-running reality show the Ultimate Fighter as the toughest tournament in sports. Likewise, Bellator has made the same claim, pointing to their contendership structure as being supreme when determining the most deserving challengers/champions. One man equipped to give informed insight into the difficulty of both is welterweight Ben Saunders who has been part of TUF in addition to a handful of Bellator fields as well.
Saunders recently spoke with Fightline in relation to his Season 8 semifinal scrap tonight at Bellator 90 against Raul Amaya where addressed the debate, pointing to each endeavor as being arduous but not in the same way.
“I would have to say they were both tougher in different areas. TUF was crazy living together, and above all not knowing who you would be fighting or when you would be fighting until 24-48 hours ahead of time. That made weight cutting (which I never did before but once) and gameplan preparations a real hardship. But I enjoyed my time on the show and saw it as a vacation and seminar experience, loving most of all of the time spent there, knowing it was such an amazing opportunity to be chosen. I felt very honored, and fortunate to be there, and hardly saw any negative even in the grueling times,” explained Saunders. “As for Bellator I feel it’s just a more professional approach in that we know who, when, and where we are fighting ahead of time. We get to prepare like professionals with our own teams. But I do feel it is harder as the level in competition surpasses that of my time on TUF.”
With Bellator ready to enter the world of reality television later this year, Saunders also added that he’s interested in seeing how his current employer’s product differs from TUF.
“I don’t know the format or how it is being shot or filmed. I believe they are trying a different more professional approach, trying to keep it about the fighting, training, and sport. As opposed to knuckle heads looking to get famous by, arguing, drinking, or fighting outside the cage,” said Saunders. “Drama sells, but so does the sport, so I am definitely interested to see what it is all about, once it airs.”
Fans can catch Saunders-Amaya tonight on Spike.com shortly before Bellator 90 hits the airwaves at 10:00 PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR