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UFC 111 Live Blog: Jon Fitch vs. Ben Saunders Round-by-Round Updates

NEWARK, N.J. -- This is the UFC 111 live blog for Jon Fitch vs. Ben Saunders, a welterweight bout on tonight's UFC 111 pay-per-view card in Newark, N.J.

When Thiago Alves could not receive medical clearance, Saunders stepped up to face contender Fitch and will have the opportunity to earn a title shot.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: Fitch lands a nice right early. They clinch against the fence. Saunders stops one takedown try but Fitch completes the next one. Fitch controlling him well against the cage, and scoring with short strikes from the top. Fitch continues to outwork him, as Saunders doesn't make much of an effort to get back to his feet while trying to avoid the offense coming his way. Saunders does connect on an upkick with 30 seconds left, and it gets the best crowd reaction of the fight so far. Still, MMA Fighting scores the round for Fitch, 10-9.

Round 2: Fitch ducks under a punch and rushes in for the takedown. He scoops Saunders up and takes him for a ride with the slam. Another upkick from Saunders, but Fitch just barrels ahead with more ground strikes. Crowd is getting a bit restless, but Fitch is scoring. He's landing nothing big, but he's controlling a bigger opponent and connecting with strikes. Boos rain down and the ref stands them up with 1:10 left. Another clinch against the cage closes out the round, and Saunders looks frustrated as he can't get any offense started. MMA Fighting scores the round for Fitch, 10-9.

Round 3: Fitch tags Saunders with a right early for his best standing strike of the fight. Saunders looks tired though, and doesn't fire back. Fitch moves in for another takedown. Saunders fights this one off. Fitch roughs him up in the corner with some dirty boxing, then adds a hard right. Saunders ends up on his back. Fitch moves to half-guard and scores from the top. Saunders has been thoroughly dominated here. He valiantly took the fight on short notice in replacing Thiago Alves, but he landed almost nothing and got roughed up for his efforts. MMA Fighting scores the round for Fitch, 10-9.

Winner: Jon Fitch via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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