Fight Facts: Bellator 208

By Jay Pettry Oct 16, 2018

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.


The second half of a weekend doubleheader, Bellator 208 on Saturday in Uniondale, New York, set the stage for the Bellator MMA heavyweight grand prix final. It featured one of the greatest fighters of all-time still doing what made him a legend, the winningest Bellator heavyweight extending his own record and a fighter with more wins on his resume than all the other fighters who competed before him combined.

DESTROYER OF WORLDS: Stopping Chael Sonnen in the first round with strikes, Fedor Emelianenko has now stopped his opponent in 29 of his 38 wins, with a finish rate just above 75%, and 26 of those 29 finishes have taken place in the first round.

MOUTH IS CASHING CHECKS: Sonnen is the first fighter in MMA history to ever compete against Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Emelianenko, although he lost all three of those bouts. Dan Henderson was slated to complete that trifecta at UFC 151 but had to withdraw against Jones due to injury.

HALF AND HALF: Outgrappling Saad Awad to earn a decision win, Benson Henderson has now gone the distance in exactly half of his career bouts (17 of 34).

SAAD TO SAY: Dropping a unanimous verdict on the scorecards to Henderson, Awad suffered his seventh loss inside the Bellator cage, tying him for the most in promotional history with Brian Rogers, Brylan Van Artsdalen, Patricky Freire and Rudy Bears.

I’M EIGHTEEN AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT: Both Awad and Alexander Shlemenko competed for the 18th time in Bellator in their respective careers, moving together in a tie for the sixth most appearances inside the promotion.

NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE: Cheick Kongo made his 13th Bellator appearance when he knocked out Tim Johnson, and in doing so he earned his 11th win under the Bellator banner, good for the most bouts and wins in Bellator heavyweight divisional history.

NO EASY WAY OUT: With that 68 second knockout of Johnson, Kongo earned his fourth knockout win inside the Bellator cage, tying him with Javy Ayala and Vitaly Minakov for the most in Bellator’s heavyweight division.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?: Coming into his bout with Anatoly Tokov with 56 career victories, including 40 by stoppage, Shlemenko had about as many wins by finish as every fighter competing before him that night had in total wins (43).

YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT: Successfully making her pro debut with an 82 second knockout over Jessica Ruiz, Jennifer Chieng scored the second fastest win in the Bellator women’s strawweight division. Record holder Keri Melendez smashed Sheila Padilla in 47 seconds at Bellator 165 in 2016.

YOU’RE GONNA GET YOURSELF HURT: In an incredibly rare situation where both fighters missed weight for their preliminary contest, Frank Buenafuente came in two tenths of a pound over the featherweight limit, while James Gonzales came in 1.8 pounds heavy. As a result of missing weight, Gonzalez could not clear his medicals and the bout was cancelled.

HURRY UP AND WAIT: Robson Gracie Jr. was set to make his MMA debut against Jamal Pottinger in a 175-pound catchweight bout, but Pottinger came well above that limit at 181.2 pounds. As the New York State Athletic Commission does not allow bouts in this weight range to occur if the fighters are seven or more pounds apart, and Gracie Jr. weighed in at 174 -- 7.2 pounds below Gonzalez -- the bout was scratched.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into Bellator 208, Andy Main had never been stopped (17 fights), Tommy Espinosa had never won by submission (six fights) and Kongo had never stopped an opponent in under two minutes (17 finishes).
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