BELLATOR 153 LIVE RESULTS: Penick’s round by round report for Spike event featuring Benson Henderson’s debut

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief


APRIL 22, 2016

Benson Henderson makes his Bellator debut tonight on Spike in the main event of Bellator 153, and well known Bellator names in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Brennan Ward, and Michael “Venom” Page will be in action tonight as well. We’ll have live coverage of tonight’s event all night, so follow along!

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ROUND ONE: Holloway ran across the cage and immediately got knocked down. That was hilarious. He got to his feet and tried to move forward on Page, who avoided him, then came in with a few strikes. Sean Grande described Page as “part Anderson Silva, part Bugs Bunny.” Ok, then. Bellator’s got some new graphics working tonight that are minor but noticeable improvements. Holloway grabbed a clinch as it stalled out, then landed a low blow as John McCarthy came in to separate them, leading to a delay and some boos. Page hopped around with his hands down as they restarted, and he landed a big right hand that dropped Holloway. Holloway tried to grab a leg lock, and almost threw a couple of illegal kicks from his back. Out of nowhere, Page turned it into a toe hold as he was squatting and defending, and Holloway submitted in pain. Page remains highly entertaining to watch.

WINNER: Page via submission (toe hold) at 2:15 of the first round

STAR RATING: (**+) Dammit Page is fun to watch. Holloway was a body, and Page had absolutely no trouble in this one. That it ended by toe hold was the only surprising thing about the fight.

-After the fight they announced that Englishman Page will fight Fernando Gonzalez on the July 16 event in London.


ROUND ONE: Primus slipped early and Santos tried to take advantage. He landed a few strikes early before Primus grabbed a clinch. Primus scored a takedown, but got reversed as he tried to take the mount and wound up on his back. Santos escaped and stood, and it allowed Primus to stand. Primus tried to trudge ahead, but took several strikes while trying to get in close. Santos landed a solid right hand and a couple of leg kicks. Primus overshot an attempt and took a body kick at the cage. Primus landed a kick to the body, then an inside leg kick. They traded punches in the center. Santos continued to get the better of striking exchanges between the two fighters. Primus was doing a lot of swinging and missing while absorbing hits.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Santos. Much more successful offensively in that round.

ROUND TWO: Primus tried to come in aggressively early, but wasn’t getting in much effective offense. Santos landed some solid strikes in the first two minutes. He missed a flying knee, but threw a hard high kick shortly thereafter. Primus missed several strikes. They exchanged some more. Primus took a kick to the inside of the thigh that may have been a grazing low blow and things were briefly halted. As they restarted Primus came out swinging. Santos continued to do more overall as Primus tried to chase him. Primus got in a right hand. Primus shot in, got stuffed, and Santos wagged his finger back at him. Primus landed a couple strikes. Santos returned fire. Santos got in a solid late rush and the round ended in the clinch.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Santos. Still doing more offensively in this fight.

ROUND THREE: Primus missed a couple strikes, then shot in. He got reversed and wound up on his back with Santos on top. Santos got in a few hammerfists after standing and let Primus up. Primus tried to rush in with a combo, and he connected on a couple strikes. He threw a spinning back kick that grazingly landed to the body. Santos landed a few hard punches in combination. Santos landed a solid counter. Primus shot in again, but Santos got free easily. Both looked tired as they were throwing late. Santos landed a few hard strikes on the cage. He connected on a wild short flurry. Primus shot in once more, this time securing a takedown. He nearly got Santos’ back but lost position as Santos turned back into him. Primus got into half guard. Santos tried to attack for a leg, but didn’t have it and Primus threw down a strike. Primus stood, then got back into half guard. Santos tried for one more leg lock at the bell.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Santos. Both had takedowns, neither did a ton with them, and Santos’ striking was clearly better.

WINNER: Primus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

STAR RATING: (*) Not a very good fight, but that’s just a terrible decision. There’s no way Primus won two rounds, and even with the final minute of top work in the third I don’t even think he won that round. Completely awful decision.


ROUND ONE: Ward made little work getting in close. He went for a takedown, got the fight to the ground, and Santos attacked for a leg lock. Santos went for a heel hook, turned it into a knee bar, and forced Ward to tap out furiously in pain. Well then. Huge setback for Ward.

WINNER: Santos via verbal submission (heel hook) at :30 of the first round

STAR RATING: (**) Damned impressive quick finish over a legitimately talented and dangerous guy in Ward. Santos showed how dangerous he himself can be. Those leg lock finishes are nasty.


ROUND ONE: Freire closed the distance immediately and wanted to tee off on the cage. He landed a couple strikes and Corrales tried to counter. Freire slipped but popped to his feet. He came back ahead, continuing to control the cage, and he landed a decent combination. Corrales landed a real nice counter-right hand after Freire landed a kick. Freire ducked under a strike and went for a takedown. He briefly got Corrales down, but had to work in the clinch. He then scored a nice trip right into mount. Corrales got him to half guard. Freire nearly got the arm triangle, then abandoned it to mount. He tried it on the other side but was stuck on the cage. He continued to work effectively from top position, but Corrales got up to his feet and separated well. The crowd booed some tentative action late. Corrales got in a few strikes late before the bell.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Freire. Corrales had a little success on the feet, but the takedown and submission attempts from Freire are the edge here.

ROUND TWO: Freire took the center and landed a few kicks and punches. Corrales got in a few strikes of his own, but things got quite tentative and led to a series of boos. Freire landed a short strike but ate a harder counter. Corrales got the best of an exchange. Freire threw a jumping knee that only partially landed. Corrales got in a few hard strikes. Freire was getting beat to the punch a bit, and he then scored a well timed takedown. Freire landed a short elbow. Corrales tried to tie him down. He got to his feet and Freire immediately went to a jump guillotine. Corrales tried to fight out as it went to the ground but he had to tap out quickly as the hold was on too tightly. Hell of a finish to cap off a round in which Freire wasn’t actually doing all that well.

WINNER: Freire via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:09 of the second round

STAR RATING: (**) Objectively great finish from Freire, but it wasn’t the greatest fight prior to that point. The first round was decent and competitive, but there was a lot of tentative action in the second well before the finish. Still, awesome jump guillotine in transition to score the tap. Just an excellent transition.

-They broadcast a prelim fight between Djamil Chan and Rich Patishnock, which Chan wins by knockout in the first round.


ROUND ONE: Henderson took the outside early. Koreshkov landed a hard outside leg kick. Both felt out the range a bit. Koreshkov went high with a kick but it was blocked, though Henderson swung and missed on the counter attempt. Koreshkov landed a couple strikes. Henderson got inside with a hard leg kick. Henderson circled away from an attack. Koreshkov caught a kick and landed a big right hand. Henderson scrambled out to his feet. Koreshkov pressed in with a hard kick to the body. He went high with a kick that was blocked again. Koreshkov using the reach advantage well in the opening round. Koreshkov landed a nice right hand to the body. Henderson got backed up and ate a few strikes. Koreshkov landed a big step in knee with a right hand behind it. He landed another right hand. Henderson reached in for a desperation takedown and was nowhere close. Koreshkov walked him down again, landing a kick with a punch behind it. Henderson went high with a kick that was blocked. He ate a kick to the body. Koreshkov landed another to the body of his own. Koreshkov dropped Henderson late with a flying knee. Henderson desperately went for a couple takedowns late to stay alive. Huge round for the champion.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Koreshkov. The late flying knee knock down drove it to 10-8 territory. Henderson just getting out-worked by a much bigger and stronger guy. He looks way out of his weight class and his element in this one so far.

ROUND TWO: Koreshkov landed a couple early strikes. Henderson shot, got stuffed, then swung wildly on his way up. Henderson landed some leg kicks. Koreshkov landed a spinning kick then stuffed another takedown. Koreshkov landed another big flurry at the cage. Henderson tried to grab at his legs but was out of range. He ate another right hand and got stuffed on a takedown attempt. Koreshkov landed a leg kick, then barely missed a huge right hand. Koreshkov landed another right hand while avoiding the counter. Henderson just looks a it lost at this point in the fight. He ate a few more strikes. He went for a takedown but again failed. He got in a right hand to the body. Henderson landed one of his best punches with 90 seconds left in the round. Koreshkov shrugged off another takedown attempt. Henderson landed a good body punch. Henderson landed a hard outside leg kick. Henderson missed a spinning kick by a mile. Koreshkov landed a hard body kick. He landed a nice right hand. He got in a knee to the body and another right hand. Henderson clinched up and that’s where the round ended.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Koreshkov. Impressive fight from Koreshkov thus far. Completely out-working Henderson and effectively utilizing his advantages.

ROUND THREE: Henderson opened with a solid body punch. The crowd chanted for Henderson as he ate a spinning kick. Henderson grazed with a left hand, but ate a few strikes in response. Koreshkov got in to the body and tried to walk Henderson down again. Henderson landed a knee to the body, but got rocked by a counter-hook. Henderson shot in after that and tried desperately to complete the takedown. Koreshkov landed strikes at the cage. Henderson got in a couple strikes as he stayed with the takedown attempt. Koreshkov got to his feet on the cage. Henderson landed some knees. He shrugged off the attempt, but Henderson got to a single leg. Koreshkov defended again. He landed a big knee to the body. Then the legs. Henderson got to his feet and ate another knee to the body. Koreshkov landed a hard inside leg kick. They circled around one another. Koreshkov landed a couple hard leg kicks. Koreshkov walked Henderson down and landed another big spin kick late. They traded a couple strikes to the bell.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Koreshkov. Henderson’s in a ton of trouble here. He’s just got very little that seems to be working effectively for him.

ROUND FOUR: Koreshkov pressed in and landed a hard knee to the body. Koreshkov got in a leg kick. Henderson tossed out a front kick to the face. Henderson shot in, but Koreshkov held him off. Henderson flopped to his back, then tried to throw a capoeira kick to the face on his way up. It missed. Koreshkov missed a strike, then landed a kick. Henderson landed a strike and shot in. Koreshkov held it off on the cage. Henderson landed some kicks to Koreshkov’s right calf. Some boos came down from the crowd. They finally separated, with Koreshkov landing a couple strikes. He walked Henderson down and landed a hard body kick. Koreshkov continued to pressure. He rocked Henderson with a huge right hand. Henderson somehow recovered, and kept moving as he tried to shoot in. Koreshkov went for a front choke and brought Henderson to the ground. He gave it up and sprawled after a strike. Henderson got back to his feet and landed a right hand late. Koreshkov landed another left hand at the bell.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Koreshkov. Not quite enough offense for a 10-8, but the late knockdown gives that score an argument.

ROUND FIVE: Koreshkov went high with a kick but it was partially blocked. He landed a solid body punch. Henderson got in a leg kick. Henderson went high with a kick that partially connected. He threw out a few more kicks. Henderson landed a left, then missed an overhand right. Koreshkov landed another big knee and avoided a shot. They traded leg kicks. Koreshkov slipped on a spin kick, but Henderson couldn’t capitalize. Henderson shot in again but got stuffed. Koreshkov rocked Henderson with another big knee, stuffing again what turned into a takedown attempt. They stood up again. Koreshkov stuffed another takedown attempt. Henderson threw some kicks off his back before he stood up. Henderson missed a strike, then ate a big left hand. He moved around a lot to avoid follow up. Henderson missed a right hand. Koreshkov landed a straight right. He got in a jab. Koreshkov went for a spinning back fist that was blocked. He landed another big right hand. Koreshkov tried to follow up as Henderson moved his head around. Henderson got in a high kick. Koreshkov came right back. He landed a knee to the body with Henderson on his knees. Koreshkov went for a front choke before the bell.

Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Koreshkov. Dominant performance. This is a huge win for Koreshkov, and indisputable evidence that Henderson’s not a welterweight.

WINNER: Koreshkov via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

STAR RATING: (**+) Absolute domination on the part of Koreshkov and as thorough a sustained beating as Henderson’s ever faced. This was just a great, great performance by the Bellator Welterweight Champion, and should end any hopes of Henderson having a run as a welterweight fighter. He needs to drop back down, but his stock takes a significant hit in his first fight since leaving the UFC.

-Thank you for joining us here tonight for this Bellator 153 event! We’ll be back tomorrow night with live coverage of UFC 197!

Note for App Users: For fastest refresh rate on our fight result updates throughout the event, we recommend you visit our mobile-friendly browser-based website at Our App unfortunately doesn’t update article changes in real time, but our mobile site does, so there will be delays in live results on our app but not on our mobile site during the event.

Also for App users, swipe right to view next article, swipe left to view previous article.

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