Ben Saunders Replaces Bryan Barberena at UFC Fight Night 131 Against Jake Ellenberger

By: Jordan Breen
Mar 30, 2018

Jake Ellenberger has a new opponent for UFC Fight Night 131.

Ellenberger was originally intended to meet Bryan Barberena in a welterweight affair on the card. However, last week, the California-born, Arizona-based “Bam Bam” was forced out of the contest due to injury. Now, Ellenberger will meet veteran Ben Saunders on the bill.

UFC Fight Night 131 is scheduled for June 1 at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, N.Y., headlined by a bantamweight grudge match and potential 135-pound title eliminator between Marlon Moraes and Jimmie Rivera.

The bout will be the 20th Octagon appearance for the 33-year-old Ellenberger after 14 months away from the cage. “The Juggernaut” has gone 1-4 over his last five Octagon appearances, taking a knockout win over Matt Brown at UFC 201 in July 2016, while dropping bouts to Stephen Thompson, Tarec Saffiedine, Jorge Masvidal and Mike Perry.

Saunders, 34, has also struggled in the cage as of late, going 2-3 over his own last five, with four of those bouts coming in the UFC cage. After returning to the UFC following a 17-second armbar of promotional vet Jacob Volkmann in September 2016, “Killa B” earned a unanimous verdict over Court McGee at UFC Fight Night 103 in January 2017, but has since been knocked out in consecutive bouts by Peter Sobotta and most recently, Alan Jouban at UFC on Fox 28 just five weeks ago.

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