UNIONDALE, N.Y. — And that’s why Fedor Emelianenko is referred to as the “G.O.A.T.”
“The Last Emperor” scored a pulverizing first-round TKO of Chael Sonnen in the Bellator 208 main event at the NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.
Sonnen made good on his promise to charge Emelianenko from the opening bell and was greeted with a vicious left hand that crumpled him to the canvas.
Emelianenko kept bringing the pain, landing hard-hitting lefts and rights, but somehow Sonnen managed to not only take Emelianenko down but mount him.
That latter move would spell the beginning of the end for “The American Gangster,” however. Emelianenko managed to reverse the mount, nailed Sonnen with rights and lefts and got back to the standup, where he would drop Sonnen once again before using a barrage of left hands to the covered-up head of Sonnen, leading to the ref’s stoppage.
It was a brutally fitting end to this grand prix semifinal, as Emelianenko did all the talking with his fists and punched his ticket to the final, where he’ll face Ryan Bader on Jan. 26 at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Here’s a look at the full results from Bellator 208 (all times Eastern):
Bellator 208 results
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen
Fedor Emelianenko def. Chael Sonnen via first-round TKO (punches; 4:46)
11:41 p.m.: Round 1: Chael Sonnen lived up to his promise of charging Fedor Emelianenko from the opening bell. Fedor responded with an absolutely vicious left hand, which dropped “The American Gangster” in seconds. Emelianenko kept bringing the pain, taking Sonnen down and pounding on him with solid shots. At the 3:16 mark, Sonnen had Emelianenko’s back and somersaulted over, leaving him open to vicious left and right hands. Sonnen was able to mount Fedor, but Emelianenko once again found his way out by reversing the momentum and mounting Sonnen. As they got back to the standup, Emelianenko connected on a series of rights and lefts, which dropped Sonnen. Fedor then used a barrage of left hands to the covered up head of Sonnen until the match was stopped. And that’s why Fedor Emelianenko is considered the GOAT!
11:40 p.m.: Fedor Emelianenko definitely got a much louder pop from the crowd here. The fight is seconds away.
11:28 p.m.: “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko vs. “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen in the main event is up next. The winner faces Bellator 207 victor, Ryan Bader, in the promotion’s heavyweight grand prix final on January 26 at The Forum in Los Angeles. Will it be Fedor or Sonnen?
11:16 p.m.: During his post-fight interview, Henderson criticized Khabib Nurmagomedov scaling the Octagon last weekend to attack a member of Conor McGregor’s team. The crowd serenaded Henderson with boos, clearly not trying to hear it. Pretty awkward to say the least.
Co-Main Event: Benson Henderson vs. Saad Awad
Benson Henderson def. Saad Awad via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Round 3: Henderson landed a heavy kick to open the round and another just under the 3:00-minute mark. In between the kicks, the ref warned Henderson about grasping the cage to hold his position. A bit surprised, but unbothered, Henderson once again mauled Awad, pressing him up against the cage and further draining him of his power. Moments later, Awad threw a wild right hand, which landed cleanly and dropped Henderson. However, Henderson once again took Awad down onto the mat. The match ended with Henderson going for the rear-naked choke while pounding Awad’s head with punches. Henderson held position and controlled the pace of this match the entire way through, taking Awad to the ground and mounting him at will. He has to have his hand raised in this one. Henderson 30-27
Round 2: Benson Henderson is dictating the pace, mounting Awad and grinding him down into the mat, tiring out his opponent. Every time Awad fought to get back on his feet, he was taken back down by Henderson. Awad spent most of the second round on his back and the frame ended that way, as Awad was saved by the bell in a chokehold that could’ve ended the bout right then and there. Henderson 20-18
10:53 p.m.: Round 1: Both Awad and Henderson spent the first two minutes exchanging kicks before Awad finally threw a punch, which missed the mark. Henderson quickly took his back and went for a rear-naked choke twice, almost cinching it in with each attempt. As he took Awad’s back, Henderson was able to land solid body shots and punches to the face and the crowd let out their oohs and ahhs watching Henderson attempt axe kicks on a laid-out Awad. Action-packed first round and a solid one for Henderson. It already seems clear that Awad is the more powerful fighter, but Henderson is more technically sound … especially with his ground game. Henderson 10-9
10:40 p.m.: Co-main event, pitting Benson Henderson against Saad Awad in a lightweight tilt is up next. But expect a bit of a delay courtesy of Cheick Kongo’s lightning-quick KO in the last fight.
Cheick Kongo vs. Timothy Johnson
Cheick Kongo def. Timothy Johnson via first-round KO (punches; 1:08).
10:29 p.m.: Round 1: Well, that was fast! After feeling each other out for the first minute, Johnson charged at Kongo and it turned out to be a bad move. Kongo caught Johnson with a right that grazed his head, but did more damage than it appeared to. Johnson was quickly dazed, as he fell to the canvas. Kongo mounted him and pounded him out with a series of left hands until the ref stopped it. That’s seven straight wins for Cheick Kongo. Put some respect on his name.
10:21 p.m.: Cheick Kongo-Timothy Johnson up next in a heavyweight clash.
10:15 p.m.: 50 Cent is cageside. He just got a loud pop from the NYCB Live crowd when shown on the big screen.
? @50cent & @HerschelWalker #Bellator208 pic.twitter.com/cejskzLM1V
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) October 14, 2018
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Anatoly Tokov
Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Round 3: Shlemenko began the round as the aggressor, trying to assert himself out of desperation. Although he had the busier, fancier moves with an assortment of spinning techniques during the final round, Tokov landed the cleaner shots, including a flush right hand. Making matters worse for Shlemenko is when he attempted a spinning back kick, missed and Tokov took his back, bringing him to the ground and back up against the cage moments later. Tokov 30-27
Round 2: Shlemenko hit Tokov with a kick clearly below the belt, prompting the ref to stop the action and warn him, while also giving Tokov enough time to recover. As the fight continued, just around the 4:00-minute mark, clinching against the cage resumed. Tokov appears to be the fresher fighter. The round ended with Tokov taking Shlemenko’s back and pressing him face first against the cage. Watch out for a possible guillotine from Shlemenko, though. He looks like he might have an opportunity to cinch it in. Tokov 20-18
9:42 p.m.: Round 1: Tokov pressed Shlemenko up against the cage, but the latter worked in some knees. Moments later, Tokov was able to mount and take Shlemenko’s back, taking him down in the center of the cage. Shlemenko was able to free himself out of the clinch against the cage and open up with some knees to the midsection and some spinning backfists with under a minute, though. Close first round. Tokov 10-9
9:41 p.m.: Ryan Bader, winner of the Bellator 207 main event on Friday night, is here, trying to get a look at who he’ll face in the Bellator grand prix heavyweight championship fight in January. Will it be Chael Sonnen or Fedor Emelianenko?
9:35 p.m.: Up next — Alexander Shlemenko vs. Anatoly Tokov in middleweight action.
Andy Main vs. Henry Corrales
Henry Corrales def. Andy Main via third-round TKO (punches). Time of stoppage was 2:08.
Round 3: Corrales began the final round working on Main’s front leg. He then missed on a wild right but connected on a vicious left hand that completely crumpled Main. Corrales jumped on Main and pounded him out until his hand was raised. Explosive ending … just like that!
Round 2: Corrales opens the second round up, landing some solid rights and lefts, before Main answers with a left of his own to assert his reach. Corrales is adding some legs kicks as time goes on. Everything was on the feet, until Main scored a knockdown just before the 2:00-minute mark. But both fighters got right back up, though, showing their willingness to strike in the center of the cage. Corrales looks to be firmly in charge thus far, walking Main down and dictating the pace. You get the distinct feeling that Corrales wouldn’t mind an all-out brawl … but Main would. 20-18 Corrales
9:04 p.m.: Round 1: The bright lights are on here at NYCB Live in Uniondale, New York and the first fight of Bellator 208’s main card is underway! Corrales and Main feeling each other out in the center of the cage for much of that first round. Corrales was very much trying to figure out how to close that distance and diminish Main’s reach advantage, just missing on some hook attempts. Corrales did land a right cross and a strong left in a flurry under a minute left, but Main responded with a strong right of his own with less than 20 seconds in the opening frame. Good start to the night. 10-9 Corrales
8:55 p.m.: We’re about to go live here at Bellator 208! Featherweights Henry Corrales and Andy Main will kick off the main card.
8:30 p.m.: Preliminary card action going on here at Bellator 208 at NYCB Live. Here are the results thus far:
Nick Fiore def. Jerome Mickle via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); Lightweight
Tommy Espinosa def. Suhrob Aidarbekov via submission (armbar, first round); Flyweight
David Meshkhoradze def. Shaquan Moore via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27); Welterweight
Jennifer Chieng def. Jessica Ruiz via TKO (first round); Women’s Strawweight
Zarrukh Adashev def. Christian Medina via TKO (first round); Flyweight
Drews Rodriguez def. Mike Diorio via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); Welterweight
Dennis Buzukja def. Ryan Castro by KO (first round); Lightweight
Jeremy Puglia def. Eric Olsen via TKO (first round); Middleweight
Sporting News will provide updates as it gets closer to bell time.
Bellator 208 fight card
- Fedor Emelianenko (37-5, 1 NC) vs. Chael Sonnen (30-15-1); Heavyweight world grand prix main event
- Benson Henderson (25-8) vs. Saad Awad (23-9); Lightweight co-main event
- Cheick Kongo (28-10-2) vs. Timothy Johnson (12-4); Heavyweight
- Alexander Shlemenko (56-11, 1 NC) vs. Anatoly Tokov (26-2); Middleweight
- Henry Corrales (15-3) vs. Andy Main (12-3-1, 1 NC); Featherweight
- Robson Gracie (Pro Debut) vs. Jamal Pottinger (Pro Debut); 175-Pound Catchweight
- Jennifer Chieng (Pro Debut) vs. Jessica Ruiz (Pro Debut); Women’s Strawweight
- Shaquan Moore (Pro Debut) vs. David Meshkhoradze (Pro Debut); Welterweight
- Sukhrob Aydarbekov (5-3) vs. Tommy Espinosa (5-1); Flyweight
- Jerome Mickle (3-6) vs. Nick Fiore (2-3); Lightweight
- Frank Buenafuente (9-4) vs. James Gonzalez (4-3); Featherweight
- Eric Olsen (0-1) vs. Jeremy Puglia (0-1); Middleweight
- Ryan Castro (0-1) vs. Dennis Buzukja (Pro Debut); Lightweight
- Mike Diorio (1-2) vs. Drews Rodriguez (Pro Debut); Welterweight
Bellator 208 latest news
– Sporting News takes a look at the one fighter to watch out for on the card.
– Chael Sonnen tells SN his one regret in MMA.
– Looking to make some cash in the main event? Here’s the fighter to bet on.
– Benson Henderson explains to SN on being unable to get over any of his losses.
– Sonnen says Fedor will have no room to breathe during their fight.
– Out of all his opponents, Sonnen feels Fedor is the ‘most dangerous’ of them all.