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With Titan FC's blessing, Ben Saunders returns to UFC

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Bellator

Another Titan FC fighter is headed to the UFC.

Ben Saunders was scheduled to fight Jose Landi-Jons for the inaugural Titan FC welterweight title on Aug. 22, however, that fight is now off, as Saunders, who fought for the UFC from 2007 to 2010, has agreed to return to the organization, according to Titan FC COO Lex McMahon.

Titan FC gave Saunders its blessing to head back to the UFC after Landi-Jons ran into issues securing a visa to fight in the United States, which forced him to withdraw from the bout just hours after it was announced that he would be replacing the injured Matt Riddle in the title fight.

While Titan struggled to find a suitable replacement for Landi-Jons, the UFC offered Saunders a chance to return to the promotion, and he took it. Titan's contracts have a "Zuffa clause," which allows fighters to walk away from the promotion in order to sign with the UFC, however, if a fight is within 30 days, Titan must agree to the fighter leaving the promotion, and in this case, Titan did just that.

"We wish Ben all the best," McMahon said. "No one is a bigger Ben Saunders fan than me, and I want him to see him do great in the UFC. Our motto will always be, 'Fans, Fighters First.''

Saunders (16-6-2), a two-time tournament finalist in Bellator and a UFC veteran, went 4-3 in the UFC with three stoppage victories. He was released from the promotion after a unanimous decision loss to Dennis Hallman at UFC 117 in Aug. 2010. Since then, he's gone 8-3, primarily in Bellator.

There are no details just yet on Saunders' return fight in the UFC.

As a result of the change, Mike Ricci vs. George Sotiropoulos will now headline the Titan FC 29 card on Aug. 22. The event will air on CBS Sports Network in Fayetteville, N.C.