Bellator 208 ‘Emelianenko vs. Sonnen’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 13, 2018




Sherdog’s live Bellator 208 coverage kicks off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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Nick Fiore vs. Jerome Mickle

Round 1

This is a rematch of a November 2016 bout Mickle won via technical knockout. Fiore shoots against the fence and is unsuccessful. They return to the center of the cage and moments later, Fiore is dropped by a right hand over the top from Mickle. Fiore shoots for a takedown out of desperation and is able to assume top position. Fiore seems to have recovered as he gains full mount. Mickle reverses into top position and elects to stand rather than work in his opponent’s guard. Mickle delivers a kick to the cup and the bout is paused. They’re back at it and Mickle lands a low kick. Fiore answers with a straight left hand. A counter left by Fiore sends Mickle back into the fence. Fiore changes levels under a Mickle punch and gets the takedown near the fence. Mickle initiates a scramble with an omoplata attempt, but Fiiore is able to move into side control. Fiore ends the round landing a couple punches to the ribs from north-south position. 10-9 Fiore.

Round 2

The lightweights trade punches early in the frame. A counter right from Fiore catches Mickle, who is winging most of his shots with full power. Fiore follows a right hand upstairs with a takedown. He drags Mickle to the mat and sets up in full guard. Mickle creates some space with his guard and is able to stand. He clips Fiore with a right uppercut and pushes forward. Fiore fires back and lands a combination of his own. Mickle continues to head hunt but leaves himself exposed to be taken down against the fence. Fiore passes to full mount with about 1:00 to go. Mickle tries unsuccessfully to buck his opponent off him. Fiore maintains mount until the bell sounds but only lands minimal ground-and-pound. 10-9 Fiore.

Round 3

Mickle leads with an inside low kick. Fiore blocks a high kick upstairs and counters with a combination. He follows his punches with another takedown attempt and slams Mickle down near the fence. Fiore lands in side control and works to pull his foe away from the cage. Fiore steps over into full mount at the 3:30 mark of the frame. Mickle uses his hips to buck Fiore off and explode to his feet. He unloads with punches near the fence, but Fiore is able to block most of the offerings. They reset in the center of the cage before clinching, and Fiore pushes Mickle into the fence. This time, it’s Mickle who gets a takedown. Fiore reverses the position in a scramble as Mickle gives up on a toe hold. Fiore is in half guard, applying heavy pressure from above with one minute remaining. Mickle recovers full guard as Fiore lands short punches to the ribs and elbows to the head. Nothing damaging lands for Fiore, but he ends the round on top once more. 10-9 Fiore (30-27 Fiore).

The Official Result

Nick Fiore def. Jerome Mickle via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) R3 5:00

Sukhrob Aydarbekov vs. Tommy Espinosa

Round 1

Espinosa presses the action and fires off a combination in close. Aydarbekov looks for a takedown and drives his opponent into the fence. Aydarbekov connects his hands and slams Espinosa to the mat. Espinosa is active with his guard, landing elbows from his back before attempting to frame a triangle. Moments later, Espinosa transitions to an armbar, leans back and extends the arm. Aydarbekov taps out in a matter of seconds.

The Official Result

Tommy Espinosa def. Sukhrob Aydarbekov via Submission (Armbar) R1 1:27

David Meshkhoradze vs. Shaquan Moore

Round 1

Both fighters are making their pro debuts. Meshkhoradze lands a hard low kick that makes Moore stumble. Moore ties up with his opponent and pushes him into the fence. They separate and Meshkhoradze lands another hard low kick but is countered with a hard right hand. They clinch briefly and then trade in close quarters. A right hand lands for Moore, and Meshkhoradze answers with a glancing head kick. Moore is undeterred but eats another low kick moments later. A couple right hands connect for Meshkhoradze, and Moore shoots for a takedown against the fence. Meshkhoradze waves to someone as he defends the attempt. He is able to break free and the fighters return to the center of the cage. Moore lands another clean right hand, then knocks Meshkhoradze's mouthpiece free and drops him with a follow-up two-piece combination. Meshkhoradze is briefly stunned, and they clinch against the cage. Referee Rob Hinds pauses to give Meshkhoradze his mouthpiece. They break the clinch and the combatants are trading. Moore counters a low kick with a right hand over the top. A left hook-right uppercut combo lands for Moore. Moore ends the round with a takedown, landing in side control. 10-9 Moore.

Round 2

Moore opens up with a heavy kick to the body. Meshkhoradze is using a variety of kicks to try and control the range. A solid low kick lands for Meshkhoradze. Moore goes back to the body with a kick. Moore ducks under a high kick and the welterweights tie up. They separate shortly thereafter, and Moore lands a hard jab. Meshkhoradze comes with a right hand over the top, but it’s partially blocked. Meshkhoradze goes back to the low kick. Meshkhoradze walks to the center of the cage and puts his hands on his knees. Moore doesn’t capitalize. Meshkhoradze misses a spinning wheel kick. Meshkhoradze is still showboating at times, but offense has been limited this round. They clinch against the fence and Moore drops for a takedown. Meshkhoradze defends by grabbing the fence with both hands. Moore is finally able to pull Meshkhoradze off the cage and land a takedown in the waning seconds. 10-9 Moore.

Round 3

Moore works his way into the clinch and then lands a nice combination before moving out of danger. Meshkhoradze lands a low kick, which has consistently been his most effective offense. Moore counters effectively again. Moore punches his way into the clinch, but Meshkhoradze lands a nice knee and punches upstairs before they break. Meshkhoradze continues to pose with his hands on his knees in the center of the cage. Meshkhoradze lands a pair of low kicks, but Moore counters with a solid straight right. Meshkhoradze continues to work the low kicks, but the pace is slow, often just single shots at a time. Moore ducks under a spinning wheel kick. A push kick lands for Meshkhoradze. Meshkhoradze lands a knee in the clinch and then the fighters separate. Meshkhoradze follows a combination with a low kick, as he’s picking up the tempo in the waning moments of the round. They clinch with less than 20 seconds to go. Meshkhoradze lands a combination in close quarters before the period ends. 10-9 Meshkhoradze (29-28 Moore).

The Official Result

David Meshkhoradze def. Shaquan Moore via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27) R3 5:00

Jennifer Chieng vs. Jessica Ruiz

Round 1

Another matchup of professional debutantes is on tap, this time in the women’s strawweight division. The southpaw Ruiz lands a jab and a right hand early. Another right hand connects for Ruiz. Chieng marches forward, probing with kicks. Ruiz lands a couple more right hands as Chieng works to close distance. Suddenly, Ruiz is clipped by a short right hook as the combatants trade in close quarters. Chieng tees off with more right hands on her stunned foe against the fence. Ruiz begins to turn away from her opponent, and Chieng continues to unload before referee Dan Miragliotta steps in to halt the action.

The Official Result

Jennifer Chieng def. Jessica Ruiz via TKO (Punches) R1 1:22

Zarrukh Adashev vs. Christian Medina

Round 1

Medina wastes little time before shooting for a single leg, but Adashev is able to shuck his man off. A one-two from Adashev sends Medina stumbling backward. Medina tries for another takedown but is unsuccessful. Adashev launches a flying knee and he’s on the attack as Medina covers up with his back to the fence. Adashev swarms with about six punches before dropping Medina with another knee. With Medina on his seat and covering his face, Adashev appears to land another (illegal) knee on his downed foe just as referee Todd Anderson was stepping in to halt the contest. Nonetheless, the bout is ruled as a stoppage win for Adashev.

The Official Result

Zarrukh Adashev def. Christian Medina via TKO (Knees and Punches) R1 1:08

Michael DiOrio vs. Andrews Rodriguez

Round 1

DiOrio closes the distance quickly, forces a clinch and pushes Rodriguez into the fence. Rodriguez looks to control the wrists and lands a couple knees. They separate and Rodriguez lands some nice shots in space before the welterweights tie up again. Rodriguez is in control this time, and he lands a hard knee to the midsection. DiOrio claims it was low but referee Rob Hinds orders the fight to continue. DiOrio turns Rodriguez into the fence. DiOrio tries to connect his hands for a takedown, but Rodriguez continues to defend while landing short punches to the side of the head. They separate, and Rodriguez turns and connects with a hard short elbow. Rodriguez controls the clinch now, and he lands some short shots in tight. Rodriguez fires off another short elbow before getting turned into the fence. DiOrio is driving for a takedown with no luck, and they break again. A low kick lands for Rodriguez, who circles out of cinch range. Rodriguez is comfortable now, picking his foe apart with a variety of kicks. A high kick appears to hurt DiOrio, and he follows up with a couple knees to the head as DiOrio moves forward. 10-9 Rodriguez.

Round 2

DiOrio quickly closes the distance and clinches with Rodriguez against the cage. DiOrio has no luck with the takedown, and Rodriguez gets some space to land a front kick. A right hand followed by a kick upstairs land for Rodriguez, who is using his massive reach advantage. DiOrio is not comfortable at range, and he clearly wants to get back into clinch distance. Rodriguez circles away as DiOrio rushes forward. Rodriguez controls the action with long punches and a variety of kicks. DiOrio isn’t offering much in the way of return fire. A one-two connects for Rodriguez. DiOrio finally gets a hold of his foe with about 1:30 left in the round. DiOrio isn’t doing much here, and Hinds is asking for improvement. Rodriguez is staying busy with short punches while DiOrio tries in vain for the takedown. DiOrio gives up on a single leg before the end of the frame. 10-9 Rodriguez.

Round 3

DiOrio attempts to punch his way into clinch range and eats a right hand. Rodrigeuz stays in the center of the cage and lands a spinning back kick to the gut. Rodriguez is fighting long, picking his foe apart with straight punches and a variety of kicks. DiOrio is able to get inside and clinches with Rodriguez against the fence. Rodriguez is able to separate and circles away. A straight right lands for Rodriguez. DiOrio blocks a head kick and marches forward, forcing the clinch once again. Rodriguez won’t surrender the takedown, however, and he stays busy with short punches with his back to the fence. DiOrio won’t give up on the takedown, but Rodriguez turns out and lands a knee before DiOrio ties him up again. Rodriguez turns and lands a nice knee, then releases and scores with a spinning back kick. Rodriguez sprawls on a takedown and lands a series of hard right hands to the side of DiOrio’s head. DiOrio pushes his man into the fence as the final bell sounds. 10-9 Rodriguez (30-27 Rodriguez).

The Official Result

Andrews Rodriguez def. Michael DiOrio via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) R3 5:00

Dennis Buzukia vs. Ryan Castro

Round 1

Castro opens up with a couple low kicks before shooting for a takedown against the fence. Buzukia is able to separate and returns to the center of the cage. Castro lands about three jabs but gets a little reckless, overextends and is dropped by a counter right hook from Buzukia. Castro rolls for a leg lock in defense, then stands, while Buzukia just misses a head kick and is briefly taken down. They scramble back up, and Buzukia begins to light up Castro at range. He walks him into the fence and tags Castro with a series of hard straight punches. Castro is on wobbly legs, as Buzukia is taking his time, picking his shots. Castro is just about out on his feet against the cage, and Buzukia tags his opponent with about three more well-placed shots to the head before Dan Miragliotta has seen enough.

The Official Result

Dennis Buzukia def. Ryan Castro via TKO (Punches) R1 2:53

Eric Olsen vs. Jeremy Puglia

Round 1

Puglia catches a kick and shoves his opponent into the fence. The middleweights continue to jockey for position, and eventually Puglia executes an outside trip to get his man down. Puglia briefly has mount, but Olsen is able to reverse into top position. Puglia scrambles back up and they’re back in the clinch. Puglia lands a knee to the midsection and Olsen returns the favor. Puglia creates some space and lands a nice left hook. Olsen covers up near the fence, allowing Puglia to unload uppercuts. Olsen falls to the floor and Puglia rifles off a series of jackhammer right hands. Puglia continues to unload and the contest is waved off.

The Official Result

Jeremy Puglia def. Eric Olsen via TKO (Punches) R1 3:16

Henry Corrales vs. Andy Main

Round 1

low kick followed by a right and to the body. Corrales already chopping away with multiple inside low kicks. Main is cautious thus far, pawing with his jab. Corrales is missing the mark on the majority of his punches, but he is balancing that with more kicks to Main’s lead leg. Corrales lands a straight right to the body. Main hasn’t really attempted much in the way of offense more than three minutes into the bout. Corrales goes back to the well with the inside low kick, followed by the straight right to the body. Corrales follows a low kick with a couple big hooks upstairs. The Bellator veteran is starting to find the range with his punches against the newcomer Main. Main sticks a hard straight left to counter a low kick near the end of the frame. 10-9 Corrales.

Round 2

Corrales throws a wide left hook to begin the frame, then lands another in a follow-up exchange. A left hook from Main finds a home, but Corrales walks through it. An inside leg kick is followed by a left hook from Corrales, and Main stumbles briefly. The featherweights trade leg kicks. Corrales goes back to the wide left hook, but it’s a glancing blow. Corrales lands a jab then avoids the clinch. Corrales catches Main coming forward with a short counter right. Main grabs a leg and briefly gets Corrales down with a trip, but his foe scrambles up immediately. Corrales shifts gears and attacks the outside of Main’s lead leg. Corrales lands a combination to the body. A jab connects for Main. Main lands a kick to the body and then avoids a follow-up combo by Corrales. They begin to brawl a little bit in the waning seconds of the round. 10-9 Corrales.

Round 3

Corrales comes out aggressively, landing a punching combination followed by a low kick. An inside low kick from Corrales is countered by a crisp straight right from Main. Then Corrales fires back with a combo, and Main circles out. Back to the inside leg kick for Corrales, who is looking to follow up the attack with punching combinations. Main’s movement appears to be hindered now as a result of the low kicks. Corrales misses a right hand, but an ensuing left left hook lands on the chin, snaps Main’s head around and drops him to the canvas. Main is stunned and Corrales seals the deal with a few follow-up strikes on the ground.

The Official Result

Henry Corrales def. Andy Main via KO (Punches) R3 2:08

Alexander Shlemenko vs. Anatoly Tokov

Round 1

Both fighters feeling each other out in the early going, probing with kicks. Shlemenko opens up with a spinning back kick to the gut and pressures forward. They trade punches. Tokov lands a solid right hand, and “Storm” answers with a spinning back elbow that doesn’t quite land clean. They tie up, and Tokov pushes his foe into the cage. Tokov lands some uppercuts to the body in the dirty boxing game. Tokov tries to land a trip, but the middleweights scramble back up. A few moments later, Tokov is able to trip the ex-champ to the mat. Shlemenko looks to work his way back up, and Tokov softens him with some knees to the thigh. Tokov maintains a rear waist lock and rides Shlemenko down. “Storm” hustles up and lands a punching combo upstairs before the combatants clinch again. Tokov takes control, landing a couple knees to the midsection before they separate. They trade in close and Shlemenko just misses on a spinning attack. It’s another tie-up with about 20 seconds left. Tokov goes back to work the knees before the round expires. 10-9 Tokov.

Round 2

Shlemenko takes the offensive but misses a spinning back fist. Shlemenko rushes forward with a combination but comes up short. A leg kick by “Storm” lands below the belt and Tokov gets time to recover. The fighters touch gloves and the bout resumes. Shlemenko lands a kick to the body, but Tokov ducks under a spinning punch and secures a rear body lock. Shlemenko looks to separate his foes hands, and they break. Tokov does a nice job countering Shlemenko with punches as his foe moves forward. They clinch against the fence, and Shlemenko lands a knee and short punch before they separate. Tokov forces the clinch and pushes Shlemenko into the fence. The middleweights battle for position along the fence and break again. The action seems to have slowed somewhat in this round. Another clinch doesn’t yield much, but Shlemenko follows with a couple body kicks. Tokov counters with a punch before trying to drag “Storm” to the ground from a rear-waist lock. The round ends with Tokov attached to Shlemenko. 10-9 Tokov.

Round 3

Tokov counters his foe’s forward movement with a one-two. Tokov ducks under a punch and lands a knee inside. Shlemenko misses a spinning back fist, as Tokov backs away with no issue. Tokov ducks under a punch and the combatants clinch again. Shlemenko pushes his man into the fence and lands a short left hook on the break. Tokov lands some short shots in an exchange. Tokov lands a jab. Tokov lands an uppercut and Shlemenko answers with a knee. Tokov ducks under a spinning backfist to secure a rear waist lock, and he’s once again attached to “Storm.” Tokov trips Shlemenko down briefly, then drags him down again after his foe stands. This time, Tokov is able to take Shlemenko’s back for a moment. The former Bellator champ scrambles up, but Tokov is relentless. Tokov lands a couple knees to the head from the clinch against the fence before the fight ends. 10-9 Tokov (30-27 Tokov).

The Official Result

Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) R3 5:00

Timothy Johnson vs. Cheick Kongo

Round 1

Kongo lands a combination then circles away. Kongo is working the body with straight punches early as Johnson advances. Kongo stuns Johnson with a short right hand that glances off the top of his opponent’s head. Johnson falls forward and Kongo shoves his foe to the mat. Kongo traps Johnson’s arm from top position and hammers away with unanswered ground-and-pound, forcing a quick stoppage in this battle of UFC veterans. The Frenchman has now won seven straight under the Bellator MMA banner.

The Official Result

Cheick Kongo def. Timothy Johnson via TKO (Punches) R1 1:08

Benson Henderson vs. Saad Awad

Round 1

Henderson opens up with a heavy kick to the body of Awad. Awad is mixing up low and high kicks. Both fighters are using almost exclusively kicks during the feeling-out process. Henderson rushes forward with a whipping low kick. “Smooth” ducks under a hook and secures a takedown near the fence. Henderson with heavy top pressure, and he tries to transition to Awad’s back. Awad is upset about something and is talking to the referee, which allows Henderson to secure a body triangle from the back. Awad scrambles out of danger and sprawls on an ensuing takedown attempt by Henderson. Awad with a brabo choke and he rolls toward the cage. Awad has to release the choke and Henderson lands some punches from top position before moving to Awad’s back. Awad rolls forward to escape. Henderson stands and attempts to land some axe kicks on his grounded foe before the bell. 10-9 Henderson.

Round 2

Henderson lands an outside leg kick then slips on a flying knee. Awad lets him back up. The former UFC champ lands a thudding body kick. An overhand left finds the mark for Henderson. Awad jabs forward, and then reverses a Henderson takedown into top position. Henderson keeps his hands clasped, though, and he muscles Awad down against the cage. Henderson stays heavy from half guard and drops a short elbow. Awad explodes to his feet, only to be dragged back down. Henderson has been relentless this round, and he lands another takedown against the fence. Awad is on all fours near the fence, and Henderson lands punches and a big knee to the body. “Smooth” keeps grinding away, looking to set up an arm-triangle choke. It looks like he’s too close to the fence, and Awad gives a thumbs up as the period ends. 10-9 Henderson.

Round 3

Henderson connects with a heavy kick to the thigh. Henderson dives low for a takedown. Awad sprawls and lands a hard knee to the body. Henderson keeps the pressure on, taking top position with Awad seated against the fence. Awad rolls to all fours and absorbs some hard punches to the side of his head. Awad turns back to the seated position, but a standup is ordered after Rob Hinds sees Henderson grabbing the cage. They stand and Awad is still trying to walk his foe down. He sidesteps a low shot by “Smooth.” Henderson shoots for another takedown near the fence. Awad is down briefly but stands and breaks from the clinch. Awad counters a low kick with a right hand. Henderson goes down, but the fall was mostly due to being off balance. Henderson plants Awad on his back, and there’s a minute left in the fight. Henderson is working on another arm-triangle choke, but he’s too close to the fence. Awad gives up his back. Henderson ends the bout attached to Awad’s back, landing heel strikes and hunting for the rear-naked choke. 10-9 Henderson (30-27 Henderson).

The Official Result

Benson Henderson def. Saad Awad via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) R3 5:00

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen

Round 1

Dan Miragliotta is the third man in the cage for this heavyweight grand prix semifinal. Emelianenko drops Sonnen with a left hook in an initial exchange. Fedor lets Sonnen return to his feet. Sonnen is attempting to punch his way into takedown range. The Russian shucks his foe aside and lets him up again. Emelianenko connects with a body punch, but moments later Sonnen finally scores a takedown. The Russian reverses it shortly thereafter and assumes top position. Sonnen rushes forward and Emelianenko tosses the American aside. Sonnen takes top position after dropping low for a takedown, then inexplicably attempts to roll and take Emelianenko with him. That backfires and Fedor winds up on top, dropping heavy ground-and-pound. They stand, and Sonnen is pressing the action with big left hands. Sonnen explodes and plants “The Last Emperor” on his back near the fence with 2:00 to go in the round. Sonnen is on top in half guard. Emelianenko is doing a good job controlling the posture of his foe. Emelianenko lands some lefts to the ribs from his back. Sonnen transitions to mount, only to be reversed by the former Pride Star. Emelianenko stands and then launches an assault when Sonnen returns to his feet. They end up back on the canvas, and Fedor takes top position and unleashes a salvo of unanswered left hands. Miragliotta watches as the Russian lands repeated shots, urging Sonnen to defend himself. Finally, the veteran official is forced to call off the bout. Emelianenko will advance to the finals of the heavyweight grand prix to face Ryan Bader.

The Official Result

Fedor Emelianenko def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (Punches) R1 4:46

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