Bellator 208 Report: Fedor Emelianenko stops Chael Sonnen to advance to the Grand Prix final

A full report from John Pollock on Saturday's Bellator 208 card from Long Island featuring Fedor Emelianenko taking on Chael Sonnen in the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Bellator continued their weekend of back-to-back cards with Bellator 208 from NYCB Live (the former Nassau Coliseum) on Long Island, New York.

Tonight’s card featured the second semi-final fight of the Heavyweight Grand Prix with former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko taking on Chael Sonnen and the winner moving to the final in January to fight Ryan Bader.

Below are the results from the main card of Saturday’s show:

Henry Corrales def. Andy Main by KO at 2:08 of Round 3 – Lightweight

This wasn’t an entertaining fight until the end of it. Corrales was getting off better strikes in the first two rounds as I had him ahead 20-18 going into the final frame.

The inside leg kicks were piling up on Main, whose movement was affected by the kicks as Corrales swung and missed with a right hand and dropped with a follow up left hook. Main went to the canvas and was finished with strikes.

Since losing his first three fights with Bellator, Corrales has now won four in a row since January 2017.


Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko by unanimous decision (30-27 all) – Middleweight

This was a bad fight with Tokov doing enough to win each round and I scored it 30-27 for Tokov.

Tokov got a trip takedown in the first round and began a pattern of Tokov getting control of Shlemenko and bringing him to the mat periodically. Both were tired in the second round and Shlemenko was trying to get more strikes off but seemed way more reserved than normal. The third round was easily Tokov’s as he took control of Shlemenko’s back standing and dragged him to the mat at the end.

Tokov has won 20 of his last 21 fights since 2012, the lone loss in that stretch is to current UFC fighter Ramazan Emeev by majority decision when they fought for M-1 in December 2016.

This was Shlemenko’s third straight loss.

Cheick Kongo def. Timothy Johnson by KO at 1:08 of Round 1 – Heavyweight

Kongo stunned him with a grazing right hand and Johnson went down. Kongo trapped him with a knee on the chest and finished Johnson with repeated left hands on top.

This was Kongo’s seventh consecutive win and second in a row where it’s been a big stoppage in the opening round. Kongo has been hit with a reputation of boring fights and is probably the only reason he wasn’t included in the Heavyweight Grand Prix, but it’s hard to ignore these last two wins that have been quick stoppage victories.

This was his 11th win with Bellator and ties the number of victories he had in the UFC.


Benson Henderson def. Saad Awad by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27) – Lightweight

Henderson fought a very effective fight throughout the three rounds to earn the decision.

Henderson landed several takedowns throughout the fight and attempted numerous submissions. At the end of the second round, he went for a head-and-arm choke but couldn’t get it. At the end of the third round, he tried for the same submission and then mounted Awad’s back and tried for a rear-naked choke as time expired.

Awad complained about Henderson grabbing his glove and in the third round, Henderson lost his position by referee Rob Hinds after Henderson grabbed the fence.

I scored it 30-27 for Henderson as he earns his second straight win and is 3-2 since returning to the lightweight division.

After the fight, Henderson gave a speech about fighters holding themselves to a higher standard and condemned the brawl at UFC 229 last weekend, without mentioning names but everyone knew what he was referencing.

Fedor Emelianenko def. Chael Sonnen by TKO at 4:46 of Round 1 in the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix

It was a fun fight while it lasted with both having their moments throughout. Emelianenko tagged and dropped Sonnen twice in the first thirty seconds and didn’t seem the fight would last too long. To his credit, Sonnen kept coming back and fighting for a takedown until he got one.

Sonnen attempted to roll when he had a favorable position and landed underneath Emelianenko and ate more shots. They got to their feet and Sonnen scored a big takedown as Emelianenko seemed to tire. Sonnen went to mount, was reversed and Emelianenko stood up.

The end came when Emelianenko landed a right hand and got on top with ground and pound as Sonnen covered up and the fight was stopped.

Emelianenko will now fight Ryan Bader in the final of the Heavyweight Grand Prix on January 26th at the Forum in Inglewood, California with the winner being crowned the Bellator heavyweight champion.

About John Pollock 539 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.