Friday night at Bellator 207, Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader punched his ticket to the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix title tournament finals. On Saturday night at Bellator 208, he watched Chael Sonnen and Fedor Emelianenko try to do the same.
Emelianenko immediately dropped Sonnen with a huge punch, and subsequently landed two big takedowns on Sonnen, who answered with a low single leg, then a second takedown of his own.
You can see an excerpt from the Fightful.com Bellator 208 live coverage below:
Round One: The round begins with Emelianenko dropping Sonnen with a multiple punch combination and he lets him get up, Emelianenko continuously tosses Sonnen to the ground. Sonnen scores a takedown and Emelianenko sweeps him to get top position, Emelianenko gets up and he allows Sonnen to stand. Sonnen scores a takedown on Emelianenko and he gets back control, Emelianenko scrambles to get top position and he attacks Sonnen with a plethora of strikes. Sonnen gets up after Emelianenko lands a few more strikes, Sonnen scores another takedown on Emelianenko and he gets the half guard. Sonnen goes for full mount and Emelianenko sweeps him again to regain top position, Emelianenko gets up and he allows Sonne n to stand. Emelianenko attacks Sonnen with a plethora of strikes, Emelianenko gets Sonnen down and he lands a ton of ground and pound until the referee jumps in.
Official Result: Fedor Emelianenko def. Chael Sonnen by TKO via strikes (4:46, R1)
The finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Title Tournament will take place January 26 from the Forum in Inglewood, California. Former champion Vitaly Minakov has returned to the company, and will likely be involved in the title picture, as will Cheick Kongo, who has won seven straight fights.
You can see our full coverage of Bellator 208 at this link, and tune into our live-post show podcast at this link. Fightful.com also will cover the event Tuesday at 2 PM EST on our weekly Fightful MMA Podcast with Sean Ross Sapp and MMA insiders Showdown Joe Ferraro and James Lynch.