Bellator 208: Emelianenko vs. Sonnen – Main Card Staff Picks

Bellator 208
Credit: Dan Doherty/Cageside Press

After a rough night of picking fights yesterday, Cageside Press is back to redeem themselves with Bellator 208.

Staff WritersCorrales vs. MainKongo vs. JohnsonShlemenko vs. TokovHenderson vs. AwadFedor vs. Sonnen
Heath Harshman (106-55)
Dan Doherty (106-61)
Eddie Law (92-54)
Paarth Pande (98-60)
Mike Straus (98-69)
Jay Anderson (92-75)
Jesse Gillette (86-71)
Mike McClory (79-75)

The main event of Bellator 208 pits Fedor Emelianenko against Chael Sonnen, with the winner set to face Ryan Bader in the Heavyweight Grand Prix final. Emelianenko defeated Frank Mir in the first round to reach the semi-finals with a blistering knockout, while Sonnen wrestled his way past Rampage Jackson. All but two writers picked Fedor.

In the co-main event, Benson Henderson battles Saad Awad for a top spot in the lightweight division. Henderson bounced back from two straight defeats with a submission victory over Roger Huerta most recently. Awad comes in with a four-fight win streak, and is a five-year Bellator veteran. Henderson was unanimously picked.

In an all-Russian matchup, former Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko takes on Anatoly Tokov. Shlemenko is looking to undo a two-fight losing streak, falling via knockout in his last bout in M-1. Tokov is 2-0 since coming stateside, stopping both opponents. All but one writer selected Shlemenko.

Former UFC heavyweights mark the next bout between Cheick Kongo and Timothy Johnson. After 18 fights in the Octagon, Kongo has been one of Bellator’s top heavyweights since joining in 2013. The Frenchman comes into the bout on a six-fight win streak. Johnson alternated wins and losses in seven UFC bouts, ending his run with a victory over Marcelo Golm. This will be his promotional debut. Five of eight writers picked Kongo.

Opening up the Bellator 208 main card is Henry Corrales vs. Andy Main. After losing in his first three fights with the promotion, Corrales has turned his career around with three consecutive victories, most recently against Georgi Karakhanyan. Main is 1-1 since a year without fights in 2016. Most recently, Main defeated Saul Almeida at LFA 49 last month. Corrales was picked by seven of eight writers.