Bellator 208 pre-event facts: Cheick Kongo ties record for most Bellator/UFC fights
Bellator action returns this weekend with an event doubleheader that will see the heavyweight grand prix tournament semifinals unfold over consecutive nights. Bellator 208, which takes place Saturday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., and airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMAjunkie, is the second of the two cards.
In the main event, Fedor Emelianenko (37-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Chael Sonnen (30-15-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) will attempt to punch their ticket to the finals of the eight-man tournament when they clash in a matchup that will see one man get an opportunity to fight for Bellator gold for the first time.
Although the heavyweights are the center-point of the card, Bellator 208 has some other goods to offer, as well. For more on the numbers, check below for 23 pre-event facts.
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Emelianenko is 3-1 since he returned from retirement in December 2015.
Emelianenko is 8-1 (with one no-contest) when facing former UFC champions.
Emelianenko has earned 29 of his 37 career victories by stoppage.
Emelianenko has suffered all five of his career losses by stoppage.
Sonnen was successful in the first heavyweight fight of his nearly 21-year career when he beat Quinton Jackson at Bellator 192.
Sonnen is 2-1 since he returned to competition from a more than three-year layoff in January 2017.
Sonnen enters the event on his first winning streak since 2012.
Sonnen has earned 18 of his 30 career victories by decision. That includes both of his Bellator wins.
Saad Awad (23-9 MMA, 11-6 BMMA) competes in his 15th Bellator lightweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Patricky Freire (20) and Michael Chandler (17).
Awad has earned 18 of his 23 career victories by stoppage.
Benson Henderson (25-8 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) is 2-2 since he returned to the lightweight division in August 2016.
Henderson has earned both of his Bellator victories by stoppage.
Henderson is 0-3 in decisions under the Bellator banner after going 9-1 on the scorecards during his UFC career.
Remaining main card
Cheick Kongo’s (28-10-2 MMA, 10-2 BMMA), 34, is the oldest of the 10 fighters scheduled to compete on the main card.
Kongo competes in his 13th Bellator heavyweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history.
Kongo competes in his 31st Bellator/UFC bout, tied with Tito Ortiz for the most appearances in combined organizational history.
Kongo’s 10 victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.
Kongo’s six-fight Bellator winning streak in heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.
Timothy Johnson (12-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) makes his Bellator debut after a seven-fight UFC stint where he went 4-3.
Johnson has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights. He won his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 125.
Alexander Shlemenko (56-11 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) competes in his 17th Bellator middleweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history.
Shlemenko is 1-3 (with one no-contest) in his past five Bellator appearances.
Shlemenko’s 12 victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.
Shlemenko has earned 40 of his 56 career victories by stoppage. He earned 25 of those wins in Round 1.
Shlemenko’s eight stoppage victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.
Shlemenko’s six knockout victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.
Anatoly Tokov (26-3 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), 28, is the youngest of the 10 of the 10 fighters scheduled to compete on the main card.
Tokov is 20-1 in his past 21 fights dating back to April 2012.