From the opening bell, it was obvious that Koreshkov was much bigger and had a far greater reach than the former UFC champion. He also had superior timing on this night. The Russian was never in trouble, controlling the fight from bell to bell.
Every time Henderson shot for a takedown to try and bridge the gap… stuffed.
Every time he landed a low kick… Koreshkov countered with a brutal straight right hand or a jumping knee.
Unfortunately for Henderson, most of what could be said for him in this fight is the wonder over how solid his chin was.
Koreshkov tried to slow Henderson early with lots of body shots, including a straight right hand to the body, which isn’t often used in mixed martial arts.The straight right hand and some brutal kicks to the body didn’t really slow Henderson, but they opened up several other weapons for Koreshkov, who had an answer for anything and everything that Henderson tried.
He didn’t put Henderson away, but he thoroughly dominated him, winning 50-45 scores from all three judges, keeping the belt firmly around his waist.
Although he was a late replacement, Henry Corrales had his moments in the fight, as he was counterpunching well, but he hardly ever had Freire in any appreciable trouble. Quite to the contrary, it was the former champ that was the primary aggressor, taking the center of the cage and holding it for the majority of the fight, striking well and setting up takedowns.
Freire attacked towards the end of the opening round with a couple of arm-triangle chokes, but couldn’t find the finish.
In round two, the action slowed a bit before Freire again took the fight to the canvas. Unable to do much on the ground, he stood, forcing Corrales to return to his feet. As Corrales got up, Freire sunk a guillotine choke, immediately bringing the fight back to the floor, and forcing the tap.
It was a fantastic finish for the former champ, who could now be staring down the barrel of a possible fourth fight with Straus to try and regain the Bellator featherweight championship.
Everyone knows Cris “Cyborg” Justino for being one of the most dominant female fighters the world has ever known, but her former husband is no slouch either.
Ward quickly went after a takedown, but when he moved behind the Brazilian, Cyborg clamped on a kneebar as they hit the mat. He attacked the submission and locked it out, forcing Ward to tap just 30 seconds into the fight.
The two battled back and forth for the better part of three rounds with Toninho outstriking Primus and stuffing most of his takedown attempts.
But in the waning moments of the bout, Primus finally got the fight where he wanted it, working from Toninho’s half guard on the canvas. With both men tiring, and Toninho defending well, Primus was unable to mount much offense, but it was enough to sway two of the three judges, as he won a split decision.
Michael “Venom” Page continued his winning streak in the Bellator 153 main card opener. Although Jeremie Holloway was game and charged Page straight away, he didn’t have an answer for the brutal power in the Page’s right hand, which sent him to the canvas on several occasions in the opening minutes of the fight.
The final time he hit the canvas, Holloway tried to lock up one of Page’s legs, but it only allowed the Brit to show fans a new way to finish fights besides the power in his hands. Page locked in a toehold that forced Holloway to tap out at the 2:15 mark.
Page is now 10-0 and will move on to fight Fernando Gonzalez on the Bellator 158: London main card on July 16 at the O2 Arena in London.
Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson Results
- Andrey Koreshkov def. Benson Henderson by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Patrício Freire def. Henry Corrales by Submission (guillotine choke) at 4:09, R2
- Evangelista Santos def. Brennan Ward by Verbal Submission (heel hook) at 0:30, R1
- Brent Primus def. Gleristone Santos by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Michael Page def. Jeremie Holloway by Submission (toe hold) at 2:15, R1