Round 1: Fierce swings from Ben to open, Santos gets the quick double, but Ben stands most of the way up. Ben looking to burrow for an underhook, but Santos almost powers him back to the floor. Ben grabs the cage to avoid the single leg takedown (illegal). Action continues with Santos managing to turn a clinch into another flashy double leg takedown. Saunders pulls rubber guard with his right foot and gets wrist control with his left hand. A triangle of sorts is being applied, but I think Santos can work his way out or it's not tight. Santos chilling, his head is out and Saunders is working an omaplota while socking Santos in the face occasionally. Ben continues socking Santos in the head, while Santos works a way out of the omaplota. Santos keeping control of Ben's left foot while his left arm is still in the omaplota. Saunders punching through the opening in his legs to get Santos. They've worked their way into the middle of the cage and Santos is still preventing Saunders from turning into the omaplota fully. Santos seems to have gotten out of the omaplota now, hung out in a quasi-triangle set-up and now in full guard. Saunders pulls rubber guard and continuing to bop Santos in the face. Triangle is set-up again, with 25 seconds to go!. Santos is basically hanging on until the round ends and manages to get his head out again. I score it 10-9 for Saunders due to the active submission attempts and punches, while Santos had the takedowns and defended everything with a pretty nonchalant demeanor.
Round 2: Santos gets a takedown off another wild strike by Saunders. More action in the rubber guard of Saunders. Same triangle set-up, same pulling of the head and Santos manages to change things slightly by going with the omaplota. Saunders keeps control and puts him back in the triangle, while grinning at the crowd and cameras. More punches to the head of Santos while he's in the triangle. Santos again escapes from the triangle and is stuck in the omaplota. Saunders no longer really looking to finish the omaplota and is content to keep bopping away at Santos. Now Ben moves up and reddens Santos's ribs with a few hammerfists, while looking to get ahold of Santos's left wrist. Santos continuing to block the achievement of wrist control with his leg and now Sanuders moves to finish the omaplota! Saunders punching Santos and looking to finish the the omaplota! Somehow Santos toughs it out and moves to bottom guard on Saunders. Saunders now being active from the top of Santos's guard. Can opener being applied by Ben. A couple of good punches, but Santos controlling Ben and preventing the mounting of damaging offense. 10-9 Saunders, but very close to being 10-8 for a while.
Round 3: They touch gloves to open. Santos shoots in after a lunging right straight by Ben. Saunders sprawls, while Santos goes for a leglock. Saunders fends it off well and ends up in a whizzer/halfguard situation. Santos pulls deep halfguard and Ben looks to flatten and control Santos. Saunders looking to move into mount while threatening a kimura. Santos in a kimura, but may be able to tough it out and avoid the tap on pure strength. The ref stops it! Kimura in the third round for Ben Saunders.
Final Result: Ben Saunders def. Luis Santos by submission (kimura) at 1:35 of Round 3.
It will be Doug Lima vs Ben Saunders in the welterweight tournament final in a battle for that big ol' check and the title shot against Ben Askren.