Bellator 208 is underway and the co-main event just closed out with Benson Henderson leaning on his grappling to take a unanimous decision victory from Saad Awad. Henderson’s win snaps a four-fight winning streak for Awad, but makes it two-straight for the former UFC lightweight champion. With this being the final fight of Henderson’s contract, his immediate future is still up in the air.
Cheick Kongo has now realized back to back finishes, as he took out Timothy Johnson with ground strikes at just 1:08 of the first round. Kongo has now won seven-straight under the Bellator banner, which could very well earn him the very first shot at the soon to be crowned heavyweight champion.
Also on the main card, Anatoly Tokov used a strong grinding game to extend his winning streak to four, by earning a unanimous decision win over longtime Bellator veteran Alexander Shlemenko. Opening up the main card, Henry Corrales picked up his fourth-straight Bellator victory by dropping Andy Main in the third, and then finishing him off with ground strikes. Bellator’s featherweight division might want to start paying attention to this guy.
Benson Henderson def. Saad Awad by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2): Welterweight
The bout got hopping with a liver kick from Henderson right out of the gate. Awad pressed forward as Henderson looked to counter, but the aggression of Awad led to a Henderson takedown. Awad found himself being controlled, but was able to scramble his way into locking up a D’arce, but that just gave Henderson the back once again.
Awad pressed forward in the second frame, backing up his foe, but a botched takedown from Henderson turned into top position anyways. Henderson was able to maintain top control, chipping away with short shots as Awad struggled to improve his position. Henderson locked up an arm triangle as seconds ticked away, but Awad held on until the bell sounded.
Awad cracked Henderson with a strong knee from the clinch, but that prompted Henderson to rush a takedown up against the cage. The referee stood the action up as a result of Henderson putting his fingers through the cage, making it appear as if he was grabbing it to help control the position. Awad quickly gave up another takedown, and Henderson was able to take the back before time expired.
Cheick Kongo def. Timothy Johnson by KO at 1:08 of round 1: Heavyweight
Kongo opened up the bout with a series of body crosses that kept Johnson at bay. A heavy right hand stunned Johnson as he came rushing in, followed by the Bellator newcomer attempting to get a single leg. Kongo was having none of it, shucking Johnson to the ground and putting his lights out with ground strikes.
Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
The middleweights went right to work, getting in each others face and throwing strikes. Shlemenko landed his usual spinning attacks, but Tokov wore them extremely well and find some success in the clinch.
An accidental cup kick from Shlemenko opened up the second round. Upon the restart, Tokov reengaged in the clinch and began to grind on Shlemenko. The spinning attacks just weren’t there for Shlemenko with Tokov being too quick and too alert for that foolishness.
More of the same out of Tokov in the final round. He was closing the distance, neutralizing Shlemenko, and scoring with strong knees to the body. Shlemenko was unable to get any real separation for any substantial amount of time, therefore being rendered defensive for most of the fight.
Henry Corrales def. Andy Main by TKO at 2:08 of round 3: Featherweight
Main came out pumping his jab, looking to make the most of his reach advantage. Corrales remained composed and patient as he searched for his openings with his hands, and began to find his groove as the opening round came to a close.
The second round picked up where the first round left off, with Corrales throwing his punches in combinations as well as scoring with sneaky leg kicks. Main was able to get the fight down to the ground, but it was extremely short lived as Corrales popped right back up to his feet.
The inside leg kicks of Corrales continued to pepper the thigh of Main into the third round. In mid combination, Corrales threw a right hand that whiffed, but then connected with a left hand that dropped Main. Corrales pounced on his opponent with heavy ground strikes to prompt the third round finish.
- Jeremy Puglia def. Eric Olsen by KO at 3:16 of round 1: Middleweight
- Dennis Buzukia def. Ryan Castro by KO at 2:53 of round 1: Lightweight
- Andrews Rodriguez def. Mike DiOrio by unanimous decision: Welterweight
- Zarrukh Adashev def. Christian Medina by KO at 1:08 of round 1: Flyweight
- Jennifer Chieng def. Jessica Ruiz by KO at 1:22 of round 1: Strawweight
- David Meshkhoradze def. Shaquan Moore by split decision: Welterweight
- Tommy Espinosa def. Suhrob Aidarbekov by submission (Armbar) at 1:27 of round 1: Flyweight
- Nick Fiore def. Jerome Mickle by unanimous decision: Lightweight