Bellator 208 is here.
The event goes down tonight (Oct. 13) inside the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. In the main event, Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen will collide to determine who will move on to the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. Also, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title holder Benson Henderson will meet Saad Awad.
It’s time to dive in to the Bellator 208 main card predictions:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen
Emelianenko briefly turned back time when he knocked out Frank Mir back in April. It was “The Last Emperor’s” first win in the United States since Nov. 2009. Emelianenko’s downfall in recent years has been his diminished ability to take damage. Sonnen isn’t likely to pose much of a threat to Emelianenko on the feet. While Sonnen can get takedowns, Emelianenko certainly has what it takes to get back to his feet.
What I think will happen is Sonnen will realize early on that holding Emelianenko down isn’t going to work out. He’ll then be defensive to the point where it will hinder him standing and he won’t have an answer for Emelianenko’s barrages. I expect a TKO win for “The Last Emperor.”
Prediction: Fedor Emelianenko
Benson Henderson vs. Saad Awad
Henderson has had no picnic while in Bellator. It’ll be no exception against Awad, who is always a threat inside the cage. Awad will certainly look to be aggressive, while Henderson will look to remain “Smooth” and get away from danger. I expect Henderson to want to grapple with Awad more often than not and for Awad to try to land some shots.
In the end, I see Henderson mixing up his striking and grappling well enough to get past Awad. “Bendo” wants a win perhaps now more than ever as this is the last fight on his Bellator deal.
Prediction: Benson Henderson
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Anatoly Tokov
There’s no two ways about it, either a new contender will emerge or an old champion will rise again in this bout. Shlemenko dropped a unanimous decision to Gegard Mousasi and was then knocked out by Bruno Silva. He must win here if he expects to get back in title contention.
I don’t think he’ll do it. Tokov is on a roll and his wrestling is top notch. If Shlemenko is to have any success on the feet, he has to of course avoid being put on his back. I don’t think he’ll be able to do that and a new contender will emerge in Tokov.
Prediction: Anatoly Tokov
Cheick Kongo vs. Timothy Johnson
I don’t expect this to be a barn burner. Kongo has the power to turn up the heat at any moment, but he’s taken a smarter approach with his takedowns. Johnson’s size usually plays to his advantage, but Kongo is no slouch in the clinch and will deliver knees and work for takedowns.
In the end, I think this will be an uneventful fight and I hope I’m wrong about that. I’ll go with Kongo to take a unanimous decision victory.
Prediction: Cheick Kongo
Henry Corrales vs. Andy Main
Corrales brings solid takedowns and striking to the table, but Main is dangerous on the ground. Seven of his 12 victories have come by way of submission. He also has four finishes via triangle choke, so Corrales should be cautious about playing with fire when Main is on his back.
For Corrales to win, he has to be willing to push the pace for three rounds on a durable Main. I think he’ll get the job done, but don’t be surprised if Main is able to catch him in a submission.
Prediction: Henry Corrales
That does it for our Bellator 208 predictions. Let us know your picks in the comments below. Also, be sure to join us for live coverage of Bellator 208.