Bellator 153: "Koreshkov vs. Henderson" takes place TONIGHT (Fri., April 22, 2016) from inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., featuring a Welterweight title match between champion Andrey Koreshkov and the debuting Benson Henderson.
Henderson may be best known to fight fans for his Lightweight title runs in both World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but Henderson "Bendo" moved up to Welterweight before switching sweaters, winning both of his fights in the weight class.
Can he make it three straight and knock off Koreshkov in his first-ever title defense? We'll find out soon enough.
Elsewhere on the Spike TV-televised card, a list of future potential contenders are in action, including undefeated striker Michael "Venom" Page, who looks to pad his resume with a dynamic win over Jeremie Holloway, as well as Brennan Ward, who will attempt to make his case with a fifth straight win at the expense of Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.
Bellator 153 will start tonight on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will be here all night long to deliver LIVE results and play-by-play for the televised fights, along with the "Prelims" undercard action airing on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 153) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 153 QUICK RESULTS:
Andrey Koreshkov (c) vs. Benson Henderson -- Koreshkov via UD 50-45 X3.
Patricio Freire vs. Henry Corrales -- Freire via sub (guillotine) 4:09 R2.
Brennan Ward vs. Evangelista Santos -- Santos via sub (heel hook) 0:30 R1.
Michael Page vs. Jeremie Holloway -- Page via sub (toe hold) 2:15 R1.
Brent Primus vs. Gleristone Santos -- Primus SD 29-28 X2, 28-29.
Chris Honeycutt vs. Matt Secor -- Honeycutt UD 30-25, 30-27 X2.
Djamil Chan vs. Richard Patishnock -- Chan via KO 3:09 R1.
Sam Watford vs. Dean Hancock -- Watford via sub (armbar) 1:44 R1.
Chris Foster vs. Vovka Clay -- Foster via UD 29-28 X3.
Mike Zichelle vs. Joe Cronin -- Zichelle via sub (RNC) 1:25 R1.
Matt Bessette vs. Keith Richardson -- Bessette via TKO (doctor) 3:14 R2.
Tim Caron vs. Justin Sumter -- Caron via TKO 3:38 R2.
Blair Tugman vs. Jay Perrin -- Tugman via SD (30-27, 27-30, 29-28).
BELLATOR 153 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Andrey Koreshkov vs. Benson Henderson
"Smooth" Benson Henderson is in the white trunks and blue gloves for our main event. His career record is 23-5 and he fights out of Glendale, Arizona. Koreshkov is in the black trunks and red gloves. His career record is 18-1, he's the defending 170 pound champion, and he fights out of Omsk, Russia. Our referee in charge is "Big" John McCarthy.
Round 1: Henderson extends his right glove, Koreshkov extends his left, and with a respectful tap we're underway. Koreshkov lands a leg kick and pushes forward. Henderson keeps his hand up and he bobs and weaves each time Koreshkov moves. Koreshkov goes up high with a kick. Right hand. Another leg kick. Henderson is avoiding all but the leg kicks through the first two minutes. Koreshkov takes a leg kick and dumps Henderson to the ground but doesn't follow up. Strong body kick by Koreshkov. Leg kick. Almost all of the offense so far is Koreshkov's. Koreshkov goes up top and follows with a body shot. Several rights in a row are thrown as Henderson backpedals. Jump knee seems to have partially landed and Henderson is perplexed as to how to respond. Another big kick by Koreshkov. Jab by Henderson. High kick by Henderson misses. Right hand and right jump knee rock Henderson with 11 seconds left and he nearly gets pounded out at the end of R1 after another left drops him. 10-9 or better for Koreshkov.
Round 2: Koreshkov keeps pushing forward, Henderson shoots for a single leg, then swings wild when he can't complete it. Koreshkov tries a spin kick, misses with a knee, and throws another big left. Another jump knee by Koreshkov. Henderson doesn't have any answers. Koreshkov stuffs another takedown attempt. Leg kick by Koreshkov. Koreshkov keeps pushing Henderson toward the fence and cutting off his angles of escape, but he doesn't over commit and blow through his gas tank - if it's not there he regroups. Koreshokv stuffs another takedown at the three minute mark. Henderson lands a body shot this time before he gets reset. Another body shot by Henderson. Leg kicks by Henderson. Spin kick misses. Big body kick by Koreshkov. Big right hand by Koreshkov, who presses Henderson into the fence to end R2. 10-9 for Koreshkov.
Round 3: Glove tap to open R3. Leg kick by Henderson. Koreshkov pushes forward. Spinning back kick connects for Koreshkov. Leg kick and body shot for Koreshkov. Henderson gets hurt by a left hook and goes for a takedown. Koreshkov is hitting him with right hands as Henderson keeps digging hoping he can complete it. McCarthy warns him about the back of the head. Koreshkov stands up at 2:12 but Henderson is still trying to get a single leg and throwing knees to the right leg. Koreshkov is out at 2:55 and waits for Henderson to pull up his hand to deliver a knee. Once Henderson stands up he throws another big knee. The crowd is chanting U-S-A in Uncasville. Liver shot by Koreshkov. Leg kick. Henderson's gas tank and durability are keeping him in this fight, but a spin kick at 4:50 would have put most guys other than Henderson out. 10-9 or better for "Spartan."
Round 4: Another glove tap. Leg kick for Koreshkov. The size difference has been paying huge dividends for Koreshkov thus far. Koreshkov sprawls again at 1:03. Henderson goes to his back and butt scoots then tries to throw an upkick from the ground -- Koreshkov saw it coming. Straight right by Koreshkov. Leg kick. Henderson drops levels again at 1:45. Henderson is trying to kick Koreshkov's leg out but McCarthy wants to see more work. Koreshkov spins out at 2:55. Body kick by Koreshkov. He just misses with a big right hand. Koreshkov hurts him with a right at 3:54. Koreshkov goes for a guillotine momentarily, lets it go, then sprawls to avoid a takedown attempt. Koreshkov lands another big left to end R4. Henderson is in a hole he can't dig out of now. Only a finish wins it for Henderson.
Round 5: Even Henderson's corner noted that he was way down in this fight between rounds. Koreshkov checks a head kick with his hand but Henderson should try a few more of those. Leg kicks exchanged. Koreshkov lands a back kick then sprawls to block another takedown attempt -- backing away clean at 1:48. Another kick hurts Henderson and another takedown is thwarted. Another shoot is stuffed at 2:44. Henderson is firing leg kicks off his back until McCarthy stands him up. Henderson swings wildly, gets hit with a left, and goes for a takedown he knows he won't get - Koreshkov just walks away to force a quick standup. Another big right by Koreshkov. One minute to go. Koreshkov advancing, Henderson retreating, and Henderson gets hurt again at 4:20. Henderson fails to lure Koreshkov to jump on top of him. Koreshkov lands a big knee as Henderson is against the fence. The final bell sounds. There is NO WAY for Henderson to win on the scorecards, but the judges will decide for sure.
Final result: The judges score this contest 50-45 unanimously for Andrey Koreshkov.
Patricio Freire vs. Henry Corrales
Corrales is in the red trunks and blue gloves, 12-2, fighting out of Whittier, California. Freire is in the red trunks and red gloves, 24-3, fighting out of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.
Round 1: "Pitbull" Freire quickly takes the center and forces Corrales to circle on the outside. The announcers spend the entire first minute talking about the fact Corrales lost his front teeth fighting Emmanuel Sanchez. Corrales gradually pushes forward and throws a leg kick. Pitbull ducks a shot and goes for a single leg but Corrales regains his balance against the fence. Freire completes the takedown at 2:30 though and moves right to half guard, then jumps to an arm triangle at 2:55, takes full mount momentarily, then goes for it on the opposite side, and back to full mount again. He might have had the sub if he wasn't so close to the fence. Freire breaks and they stand at 3:48. The crowd is impatient at 4:20 and wants more action.10-9 R1 for Freire.
Round 2: The commentators are speculating that Freire hurt his ribs somewhere in the first round based on what happened in his corner during the commercial break. Corrales lands a couple of good lefts at 90 seconds. It's not enough for the crowd though and they're raining verbal displeasure down on both men. Corrales is landing some good shots here and there but not stringing enough together. Freire goes for a jump knee that misses. Single leg for Freire at 3:29.Corrales pushes him off with his feet and they stand but that was a tactical mistake as Freire immediately jumped guard for the guillotine and tapped Corrales out.
Final result: Patricio "Pitbull" Freire via submission (guillotine) at 4:09 of round two.
Brennan Ward vs. Evangelista Santos
Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos is in the black trunks and blue gloves for tonight's fight, sporting a 20-16 record, fighting out of Rondonopolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil. "Irish" Brennan Ward storms to the cage in black trunks with red trim and red gloves, a record of 13-3, and a four fight win streak on the line. He fights out of New London, Connecticut. Our referee is Todd Anderson.
Round 1: Ward runs to the center to tape gloves with Santos. Santos throws one kick, Ward catches the leg and goes for a takedown, but Santos rolls for a leg and gets a heel hook. 30 seconds and it's over -- Brennan Ward taps out verbally to the submission!
Final result: Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos wins via submission (heel hook) at 0:30 of round one.
Michael Page vs. Jeremie Holloway
Holloway sports the yellow trunks and blue gloves for tonight's fight. He's 7-1 and fights out of Hickory, North Carolina. Page sports the black and red trunks with red gloves. He's undefeated at 9-0 and fights out of London, England. Our referee in charge is "Big" John McCarthy.
Round 1: Page knocks Holloway down with a right hand in the first five seconds as Holloway runs straight at him. He recovers from it and gets up to try and chase Page down but he keeps getting tagged. Page is more than happy to dance back and forth on the outside and wait for Holloway to get into his range again -- Holloway tries to tie him up on the fence and get a takedown. The crowd is quickly all over the lack of action but Holloway makes a mistake and lands a low blow to the groin, giving Page the reset he needed. Page rocks Holloway with a right on the restart, then gets a counter toe hold against the cage for the submission, then does a little dance step for the crowd after it ends.
Final result: Michael "Venom" Page wins via first round submission (toe hold) at 2:15 of R1.
Brent Primus vs. Gleristone Santos
Blue gloves, 27-5, hailing from Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil is Santos. Red gloves, 6-0, fighting out of Portland, Oregon is Primus. Bryan Miner is our referee.
Round 1: Santos has Primus on the canvas twice in the first 21 seconds but each time he gets back up. Things settle down briefly before Primus goes for a takedown, but Santos winds up on top in full guard. They stand up again before the two minute mark. Primus is leading so hard with his right hand that Santos nearly throws him to the ground while he's overextended. Primus fires off some leg kicks, pushes forward, and Santos turns him around to the fence. They break at 3:31. Santos whistles through the air with a spin kick. Santos hits a flurry of punches and kicks at 4:48. Primus ends it with one last leg kick. Primus was the aggressor at times but Santos got the better of it each time and should earn a 10-9 from any judge paying attention.
Round 2: Primus and Santos trade kicks for the first half minute of this round. Santos clips Primus with a left and tries to chase it with a head kick. At times the men are squaring off and throwing almost simultaneous shots. Primus checks a head kick. Primus complains about a kick landing low, Miner seems skeptical at first, but eventually calls time. Replay shows that the foot caught the cup. Miner doesn't want the full five minutes or more than a few seconds of it. Santos is warned to watch the aim on his kicks at the restart. Primus is chasing again but Santos is evading and landing the better shots. Primus shoots for a takedown and Santos shrugs him off. Primus lands a good right and Santos lands a strong one of his own. Santos ends a multi-strike combo with a leg kick. He goes for the uppercut, it doesn't land, but the rest of the sequence that follows does. They're tied up to end R2. 10-9 for Santos again.
Round 3: Primus tries to drop again for the takedown and once again Santos wins up on top when it gets to the ground. Primus tries to roll to a submission and eats a hammerfist for his trouble. Primus' corner can be loudly heard saying "Everything you got right now!" He throws a spinning backfist but Santos lands an even better right and Primus was wobbled for a second. Primus goes for a leg and Santos spins out of twice and steps over the attempted takedown. Santos lands three big rights and Primus was momentarily staggered again. Primus shoots again at 3:38 and appears to finally have it. His corner wants him to stand up though. Santos goes for a heel hook and Primus HAS to stand up to escape, then drops down again with a right hand. The late surge may have won him R3 but not the fight -- it's up to the judges to sort this one out. Last time this happened to Santos he lost a split decision so he has to be nervous.
Final result: 29-28 for Santos, 29-28 for Primus, and 29-28 for Primus by split decision.
Chris Honeycutt vs. Matt Secor
Round 1: 7-2, Glen Falls, NY is Matt Secor. Honeycutt is 6-1 out of Fresno, California. Our referee is Todd Anderson. Black trunks and blue gloves for Secor. Gold trunks and red gloves for Honeycutt. After a little dancing around to feel each other out Honeycutt shoots and gets the double you'd expect. All Secor can do is wrap his legs around Honeycutt's back and angle for potential sweeps, while Anderson calls for more work from the fighters. When Honeycutt can get his arms free he pounds away at the ribs. The crowd at Mohegan Sun must still be filing in - there's not a lot of reaction to the inactivity and the few people making noise are louder than the fight corners. Honeycutt has some blood on his left elbow from a shot he landed. 10-9 round for "The Cutt" to open this bout.
Round 2: Anderson gives instructions to both men to open R2 -- he tells Secor it's his job to get out of a takedown, and he tells Honeycutt it's his job to stay busy. After it starts Secor tries and fails wildly at a takedown as Honeycutt sees it coming a mile away, sprawls, and ends up on top in North-South. One minute into the fight Spike turns on the fight clock for the first time tonight. Honeycutt tries to spin to a better position, backs away to reset and nearly eats an upkick from Secor as he does. Secor is throwing some loud and possibly hard body and leg kicks. This strategy is much more effective for Secor than that takedown attempt. Honeycutt is forced to throw a high kick of his own as Secor circles and backs away. Honeycutt closes the distance and gets another takedown at 3:42. Honeycutt seems a little angrier now as he's thudding his shots to the body every opening he gets. A better round for Secor but still 10-9 for Honeycutt.
Round 3: Honeycutt comes out with a jab and a body kick, and Secor tries to yell at him to bait him into a brawl. Honeycutt's wrestling and reach advantage have gotten him this far though -- he's not liable to change strategy because Secor talks some smack. To illustrate my point he gets another takedown at 1:11. Sean Grande notes that this is the Chris Honeycutt we saw in his first six fights - that's a potentially loaded statement depending on your interpretation. My generous one is "Honeycutt's fighting a winning fight." He continues to soften up Secor's body and Secor can do little about it. Secor gets up at 3:04 and Honeycutt fires off knees, with Secor unable to get his back off the fence. At 3:40 he's right back where he was on the ground. Honeycutt traps the right arm with his left knee for a bit to do damage, then is back in guard for the final 30 seconds. Secor's losing this one unanimously.
Final result: The judges score it 30-25, 30-27 X2 for Chris Honeycutt by unanimous decision.
Djamil Chan vs. Richard Patishnock
Round 1: Black trunks and blue gloves for Chan, 11-2, fighting out of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Gray trunks and red gloves, 6-3, fighting out of Green Brook, New Jersey. Our referee is Todd Anderson. Patishnock tries to bully Chan into the fence and gets a takedown once he gets there. Chan does a good job of tying his arms up and not allowing Patishnock to posture up in full guard. Patishnock breaks free and then quickly secures another takedown, trying to fire off lefts and rights from full guard. Patishnock pulls out, goes for a triangle, can't secure it, and gets DROPPED by a right hand from Chan as both men scramble from the failed submission. It's Chan's seventh straight win.
Final result: Djamil Chan via knockout at 3:09 of round one.
Sam Watford vs. Dean Hancock
Unaired after Spike TV.
Final result: Sam Watford wins via submission (armbar) at 1:44 of the first round.
Chris Foster vs. Vovka Clay
Unaired after Spike TV.
Final result: Chris Foster defeats Vovka Clay by unanimous decision 29-28 X3.
Mike Zichelle vs. Joe Cronin
Round 1: Cronin is 2-3 and fights out of Mesa, Arizona. Zichelle is 7-4 and fights out Worcester, Massachusetts. Our referee is "Big" John McCarthy. Zichelle is in the black trunks and red gloves. Cronin is in the white trunks and blue gloves. Zichelle gets a takedown and pounds away with right hand hammerfists, then lefts and rights from behind, then takes Cronin's back looking for a rear naked choke. It's over at 1:25.
Final result: Mike Zichelle wins via submission (RNC) at 1:25 of round one.
Matt Bessette vs. Keith Richardson
Unaired before Spike TV.
Final result: Matt Bessette wins via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 3:14 of round two.
Tim Caron vs. Justin Sumter
Unaired after Spike TV.
Final result: Tim Caron wins via TKO at 3:38 of round two.
Blair Tugman vs. Jay Perrin
Unaired after Spike TV.
Final result: Blair Tugman defeats Jay Perrin via split decision 30-27, 27-30, 29-28.