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Bellator 207/208: Fedor vs Sonnen - Oct 12/13


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I thought Fedor vs Chael warranted its own thread and with 207 the night before, figured I might as well double up on this one. 


Between the two shows, these cards will wrap up the loose ends of the Heavyweight Grand Prix. By Sunday the 14th, we'll have our tournament final set. 

So, first up, on Friday 12th October at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conneticut, it's Bellator 207;


Matt Mitrione vs Ryan Bader - Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi Final

Roy Nelson vs Sergei Kharitonov

Lorenz Larkin vs Ion Pascu  

Kevin Ferguson Jr vs Corey Browning

Mandel Nallo vs Carrington Banks


Vinicius De Jesus vs Tim Caron

Sinead Kavanagh vs Janay Harding

Andre Fialho vs Javier Torres 

Kristi Lopez vs Sarah Click

Michael Kimbel vs Alex Potts

Alexandra Ballou vs Lisa Blaine

Kastriot Xhema vs Pat Casey

Sean Lally vs Kemran Lachinov 


Nothing amazing there but could be fun. 



Meathead vs Bader will determine who gets the first spot in the GP finals. Bit of a weird fight for me this. I've never been a fan of either guy, never really looked forward to a fight either have been involved with. But strangely, paired off against each other I quite like the matchup. Mitrione narrowly decisioned Roy Nelson to reach the semis. While Bader TKO'd King Mo in just 15 seconds to get there. Bader has been my pick to win the tournament from the start. He seems to have found his home in Bellator and has seemingly hit his best form at the same time. There's nobody in the tournament who I think is a particularly bad style matchup for Bader. But coming up from 205, he's giving up size here against a legit heavy in Meathead. That's the only thing giving me doubts on this fight. I never really rated Mitrione but he's big, deceptively agile for his size and he does hit hard. Skill for skill I think Bader schools him all day but we'll see how he tackles the big lump here. Jury's out for me on Heavyweight Bader. He might've looked fantastic KOing King Mo in seconds but Mo is small for 205, he had no business at heavyweight. If Bader beats Meathead then the GP is his for the taking IMO. 



Roy Nelson vs Sergei Kharitonov is a proper old school heavyweight slugfest. They're both past their best and coming to the end but they're both still heavy hitters and it should be entertaining. Always been a fan of Sergei. Shame he never made more of his career because there was a time when you could've made the case that he was the #4 heavyweight in Pride behind Fedor, Nog and Cro Cop. He's still handy now, he's won 8 of his last 10 and finished 7 of them. But the ship sadly seemed to sail years ago on him fulfilling the potential he had back in Pride. You never know though, heavyweight is a funny division. Couple of big knockouts and you're suddenly on a run to a title or getting a call from Sean Shelby. I'd love to see Sergei in the UFC before he retires. Especially now they've started going to Russia. He'd be perfect. 



Baby Slice vs Corey Browning has my interest. It's Kimbo's son! Beyond that though, like his old man he's a likeable guy. He's 26 years old with a 3-1 record. All 4 of his fights have been in Bellator. Lost his first fight by submission but has rallied back with 3 first round finishes. And, unlike his dad, he's started submitting people himself. I'd love to see him go far. His opponent Browning (no relation to Junie as far as I know) is 3-2 and making his Bellator debut here. 



Lorenz Larkin vs Erick Silva is the show opener. This would've been at home on any UFC undercard not too long ago and we'd have all been jizzing over it. They've both had some setbacks since then but it's still a quality fight on paper. I really rate Larkin, shame he hasn't made a splash yet in Bellator but I think he's still got the potential and skills to make some noise. He came straight in against Lima and Daley in back to back fights, which wasn't exactly a warm welcome. But he got back in the win column last time out and he does hold victories over Robbie Lawler, Jorge Masvidal, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Neil Magny. You can't write a guy like that off. Erick Silva though, I pretty much have wrote off any chance of him making a real run of it now. There was a time when he genuinely looked like he was going to be the next big breakout Brazilian star. The look, the exciting fighting style, he was a finisher, the lot. He even dragged a legit FOTY candidate out of Jon Fitch, for fuck's sake (don't believe me? Google/YouTube/Fight Pass it). But whether it's the hard fights taking a toll, the emergence of USADA, him mentally just checking out or whatever, he's gone off the boil massively the last few years. He's still often fun to watch, but nobody sees him as a prospect now. He's basically the Brazilian Roger Huerta. Could've been a massive star. But isn't. 

And that my friends, is 207. 


Then the next night, Saturday 13th October at Nassau Coliseum in New York, it's Bellator 208;


Fedor Emelianenko vs Chael Sonnen - Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi Final

Benson Henderson vs Saad Awad

Cheick Kongo vs Timothy Johnson

Alexander Shlemenko vs Anatoly Tokov

Henry Corrales vs Andy Main

Tommy Espinoza vs Suhrob Aidarbekov

Jeremy Puglia vs Eric Olsen 

Mike DiOrio vs Andrews Rodriguez 

Zarrukh Adashev vs Christian Medina

Ryan Castro vs Dennis Buzukia

Jerome Mickle vs Nick Fiore

Jennifer Chieng vs Jessica Ruiz 

Shaquan Moore vs David Meshkhoradze


Again, not stacked or anything but lump these two shows together and you've got a solid bunch of fights to play with. I fucking love that poster though :laugh: Chael 'Creed' Sonnen. 



It's all about Fedor vs Chael though, isn't it? The one we've all been anxiously waiting for. The Last Emperor vs The West Linn OG. This one has been brewing for years. It never had the same hype or nastiness to it as the Chael vs Wanderlei feud did but there was always an underlying thing between these two, ever since Chael started ripping into all the Pride legends years ago in the buildup to his fights with Anderson Silva. He couldn't really use the 'PROID' accusations because that would've been too ridiculously hypocritical, even for Chael. So he rolled with the 'all Pride fights were fixed' gimmick. For years. A troll job that raised the ire of Wanderlei, Cro Cop, the Nogueira brothers and probably a few more Pride alumni. Fedor, as always, didn't seem fussed by any of it but I vaguely remember him giving the occasional bemused and disinterested responses to Chael's claims when asked about it in interviews over the years. 

It lay dormant until both men signed with Bellator. Then on last year's Madison Square Garden show, they were destined to cross paths as they were both on the card. Fedor was booked to fight Matt Mitrione at MSG, and in the main event Chael finally fought Wanderlei Silva. 

Of course, Chael relished in the fact he was top of the bill over Fedor. And, while sat next to him at the press conference, let him know it. 


"Fedor Emelianenko, in his crowning moment, is gonna jerk the curtain before the Bad Guy himself. Can you imagine being Fedor Emelianenko? Getting that call and being told you're coming to MSG, you're gonna pull the curtain back...for Chael Sonnen?! Can you imagine the excitement that Fedor must have right now? Can you imagine how bad he wants to reach out and touch the largest arm in West Linn, Oregon, that's sitting right next to him?" - Chael Sonnen


Fedor got knocked out by Mitrione that night at MSG :( and Chael smothered Wandy to a shite decision :( It wasn't long after that Bellator announced they'd be holding this Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. And both Fedor and Chael were entered. 


In January this year, Chael outpointed another ex Pride vet in Rampage Jackson to advance in the tournament. 

In April, it would be Fedor's turn. 


Fedor vs Frank Mir was set. I was dreading this. Mir had already beat Big Nog and Cro Cop. The thought of him beating Fedor and holding wins over all 3 of Pride's heavyweight kings made my stomach turn.

Thankfully, I was worrying for nothing. 


It took Fedor just 48 beautiful seconds to have Mir face down and TKO'd. 

And just like that, the semi final was nicely lined up. 


Fedor vs Chael. Despite both being at the end of their careers now, I think this is actually an interesting fight style-wise. They're both kind of similar in size. Chael's not a huge hitter so we shouldn't have to worry about Fedor getting blitzed. Chael's got the wrestling but Fedor's got that patented armbar off his back. We haven't seen much of Fedor vs wrestlers either, especially in recent years, so it feels fresh from a style perspective too. The outside the cage fun and games with Chael makes the fight week festivities more entertaining but I actually like this fight itself a lot too. They're both strong where the other is kind of weaker. Who wins this? Can Chael add another Pride legend to his résumé. 



Alexander Shlemenko vs Anatoly Tokov in an all Russian battle. Could be good. Shlemenko used to be the man in Bellator's 185 division. He was this unassuming looking savage who was just wrecking people or going to war. He's lost his last two fights but I wouldn't count out the chances of him rebounding and making another run. This will be his 69th pro fight though. It's got to start taking its toll at some point. I've never seen Tokov fight before he looks like someone you wouldn't fuck with. He's 28 years old, has a 26-3 record, he's 2-0 in Bellator and has won 19 of his last 20.  



Benson Henderson vs Saad Awad will probably be decent. Haven't seen Bendo for a while. Can he still do all things through Christ? Apparently not as he's lost 3 out of his last 5 fights. Saad Awad is coming off 4 consecutive wins but, to be fair to Bendo, Awad's not been fighting as stiff opposition as Bendo mostly has. I'm in the dark with this a bit. I'm familiar with both, moreso Henderson, but don't know what kind of form they're really in these days. Hopefully it'll be a good fight either way. 


This probably won't be though...



You know when you look down a card and see a fight listed that fills you with horror? Cheick Kongo vs Timothy Johnson is one of them fuckers for me. I like Kongo as well. He seems a good guy and I'll always have love for his crazy one rounder with Pat Barry in the UFC all those years ago. But it's just that, that Barry fight was the exception to the rule. The truth is that for the vast majority of his career, Kongo has been awful to watch. That's just a fact. I mean, fair play to the man. He's currently riding a 6 fight win streak at 43 years old. Almost unheard of in the heavyweight division. Good on him. But his fights are nearly always terrible shite to watch. And Timothy Johnson isn't much better. He was instant skip material during his UFC run...err waddle. Had some fights that were complete arse. I only remember him at all because he looks like a slightly younger Barry Darsow. Fucker's only 33 as well! Can you believe that shit? It says it all about what a ham and egger Johnson is that the UFC let him go coming off a win. This is heavyweight MMA's version of that time Snitsky and Heidenreich met in the hallway. 


There ye have it. So I'd urge you to avoid Kongo vs Darsow Jr like it's covered in AIDS but the rest I'd say looks well worth the time. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I have warmed to Chael again in recent months. I like him as a TV pundit and enjoy his tandem with Helwani. Nevertheless, I hope Fedor beats him. It makes for a better story if Fedor wins the GP. I also think that Fedor has a better chance of beating Bader or Meathead than Sonnen does. Sonnen probably won't be able to get anything going against Bader and Meathead. He doesn't carry enough power or size to trouble them. By contrast, there is always a chance that Fedor will land big and knock them out. Fedor isn't a patch on what he once was, but he can still crack. 

Of course, Bader remains favourite. He's probably the best fighter that Bellator have other than Mousasi. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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Cant help but feel that they should have merged these two cards together, stick those two main events on there along with the pick of the undercard and you got a hell of main card.


Edited by Egg Shen
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Ain't really got up this weekend yet based off the fallout of last weekends madness. We got two good shows coming up though, any predictions on how things playout?

Fedor/Sonnen. I think even a faded Fedor gives any version of Sonnen fits. Fedor has never really been outgrappled in the kind of way Sonnen does things and i just think his takedown defence and scrambling ability keeps this thing on the feet where he'll stop Sonnen via strikes. I see Sonnen eating a looping shot and dropping into the fetal position to have the ref pull Fedor off somewhere in the middle of round 2.

Mitrione/Bader. I think this all depends on how heavy a wrestling approach Bader takes, he gives up massive size but his wrestling chops should get it done for a UD. Wouldn't even be surprised to see Bader land a bomb of an overhand standing with Mitrione being cautious of the takedown.

So yeah, a Fedor/Bader final which on paper is pretty un-appealing. Bader's never been a fan favorite but he is underrated  though, who'd have believed he'd possibly find himself in this position when he left the UFC?

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I fancy Fedor to KO Sonnen after Chael tries (and fails) with a couple of takedown attempts, and I think Bader beats Mitrione via UD in what will possibly be a bit of a snoozefest.

I really hope Mitrione wins though, as a rematch between him and Fedor would be far more appealing to me than watching Ryan fucking Bader beat the great man. If that were to happen I'd probably cry.

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