The Preview

After Bellator put on Bellator 208 the previous night, they come back with Bellator 208 on Saturday. The main event of this show was Chael Sonnen (30-15-1) fighting Fedor Emelianenko (37-5) in the second semi-final match of the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix. Last night was the first part of the round, with Ryan Bader beating Matt Mitrione in a very decisive bout. The angle of the advertisements leading up to this show was Chael Sonnen being very patriotic and wanting to fight a Russian. Sonnen very much carried the promotion for this show, even dressing as Uncle Sam for the ads and promotional photos.

Alongside the main event, the main card had four other bouts. The co-main event is Saad Awad (23-9) versus Benson Henderson (25-8). Awad is on a four fight win streak heading into this bout. Henderson won his last fight but has had a very 50/50 tenure in Bellator so far. Another Heavyweight bout besides the main event that is booked is Cheick Kongo (28-10-2) versus Timothy Johnson (12-4). Johnson is making his Bellator debut, but not against an easy opponent. Kongo hasn’t lost since 2015, picking up 6 wins since then. The other two bouts on the main card are Alexander Shlemenko (57-11) versus Anatoly Tokov (26-3) in a battle of the Russians, and Henry Corrales (15-3) versus Andy Main (12-3-1). That’s the fight that started the card.

A Recap of The Show

  1. The Featherweight fight between Henry Corrales and Andy Main began the main card. The whole first round was stand up fighting. Both fighters were slow and methodical with Corrales starting to pick up the pace in the final 40 seconds. The crowd booed with two minutes left in the round out of disapproval. With just over two minutes left in the second round Main landed a trip, but it was all for nothing since they were both back on their feet seconds later. Commentator Big John McCarthy had it 2-0 Corrales at this point, but on my scorecard I had it tied. The scorecards ended up not mattering once Corrales dropped Main with a left hook in a combination.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Corrales 10 9
Main 9 10
  1. The battle of the two Russians was next on the card in the Middleweight class. Anatoly Tokov fought Alexander Shlemenko. Tokov kept control in the first round, being dominant against the cage and on the ground. Early in the second round the fight was paused after Tokov got kicked between the legs. It did not take him long to be ready to resume the bout. The rest of the second round seemed very much like the first. It felt like both of these guys had clocked out at this point. The fight went the distance with the judges all scoring it 30-27 for Tokov.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Tokov 10 10 10 30
Shlemenko 9 9 9 27
  1. The first of two Heavyweight bouts on the main card was Cheick Kongo versus Tim Johnson. This fight was ended with just over a minute gone by. Johnson got rocked by a shot which made him fall into Kongo’s arms. Kongo finished the fight on the ground shortly after.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Kongo
Johnson
  1. The co-main event was Benson Henderson versus Saad Awad. In the first round Awad showed good defense on the ground. He almost got caught in a rear naked choke when trying to complain to the ref about Henderson grabbing gloves. Henderson had better stand up (predominantly kicks) and ground game. There was a close call at the end of round two where Awad had to survive a chokehold for 15 seconds. He was very much saved by the bell. In the final round, the fight was paused because of Henderson grabbing the cage. The rest of the round was much like the two before.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Henderson 10 10 10 30
Awad 9 9 9 27
  1. The main event of the evening was Chael Sonnen versus Fedor Emelianenko in the semi-finals of Bellator’s Heavyweight GP. When they were given the opportunity to touch gloves in the middle they didn’t, but once asked a second time did. Only seconds into the bout Sonnen got dropped by a punch. Fedor refused to go to the ground until Chael landed a takedown. Fedor was absolutely all over Chael for the first three minutes. Sonnen seemed to gain some control in the fight when he landed a takedown with two minutes to go. With 30 seconds left in the first round Fedor would not stop throwing punches down on Sonnen who was shelling up on the floor. The ref intervened and that ended the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Sonnen
Emelianenko

Looking Ahead

Walking away from this Bellator show the promotion has a championship match set up. In January Ryan Bader will battle against Fedor Emelianenko to crown a new Bellator Heavyweight Champion. This is a wish come true for Bader, who said on Friday that he wants to face Fedor. Bellator takes some time off after a doubleheader weekend. Bellator returns on November 15th for Bellator 209. A championship bout in Patricio Freire versus Emmanuel Sanchez main events that card.