Ben Saunders is no longer in the UFC, but he wants to make it clear that he wasn't cut by the company.
Saunders (19-7-2) returned to the UFC in 2004 after a a two year run in Bellator, and subsequently went 3-1. However, according to a post that Saunders made on The UG, he wasn't interested in fighting for the UFC when a contract was offered.
"I did not get cut by the UFC. A quick summary without getting into any details, I fought out my contract. I did not hold out looking for more money, in fact I didn’t even ask to hear what the UFC offered my management on the new contract they sent over to them. Truth is, I was going through a really hard time with practically every aspect of my life," Saunders said.
Saunders, who last fought Patrick Cote to a TKO loss in January, he elaborated on his personal issues.
I was dealing with Training camp issues that came up which was unexpected, combined with management issues, and on top of that personal family issues. I had my grandfather pass away right before my last training camp, and then my grandmother passed away about 3 weeks before my last fight. Needless to say I was not in the right state of mind, and physically, and mentally had a too much going on, which I tried to fight through hoping it would help keep me sane and my emotions in check by staying busy. Combine that with the fact that I was on a 3 fight win streak and the pressures of trying to make the last fight on my contract a memorable one. It all just was an unfortunate cluster fuck, with everyone and their mom, having different opinions and ideas of what should and should not happen. As stupid as it may sound, I felt lost and alone, which is an awful place to be in general, let alone while trying to compete at the highest level," said Saunders.
When Saunders cleared things up in his personal life and prepared, he wanted to fight again, but says the UFC had filled his spot. When he tried to get on the upcoming UFC 202 show, he was blocked by USADA.
"Once I finally felt confident and had my mind right again, it was unfortunately too late. UFC had filled my spot on their limited roster, which I completely understood. Once again, they don’t know anything about any of this going on in my life, and I would imagine just considered my silence a form of resignation," explained Saunders." To UFC and Joe Silva’s defense as well, I tried to jump on the UFC 202 card as a short notice 2 week replacement. Joe Silva was all about it, as long as I could make weight and get medicals done in time. Which I could have and was on top of. Unfortunately after the Brock Lesnar fiasco with USADA. There is now apparently a 4 month minimum in which I would have to be under the USADA testing pool in order to be allowed to fight with them again I believe. I don’t know the logistics, or all the details exactly, but if it is a ruling to keep our sport clean and safe, then I respect the decision 100%. But once again I am just forced to deal with another “Unfortunate Circumstance” in my life, and know that I need to not focus on what I can’t change or do, and just focus on what I can. Like the Dalai Lama says “The meaning of Life is Happiness” and I believe that completely. So I am just gonna keep doing me no matter what struggles life may throw at me. Trying my best to do what makes me Happy in life."
Saunders mentioned that he doesn't know what his future holds, but thanked his fans for supporting him.
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