Veteran Benson Henderson staked his claim as a top challenger in Bellator’s lightweight division on Friday night after scoring a main event victory over Peter Queally.
Henderson’s win headlined Bellator 285 from the 3Arena Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.
Henderson went a total of five rounds in the fight against Queally. His sharp elbows and solid punches were able to cut and bruise Queally, providing a visual of who was leading the fight.
Henderson also controlled the fight in ground positions, taking Queally down numerous times in the bout.
Henderson had a secure scorecard win despite a second-round issue.
Henderson suffered a setback early in the second round, as an unintentional kick to the groin of Queally caused him to get deducted one point on scorecards.
After his win, Henderson called for a fight against either current champion Patricky Pitbull or high-ranked contender Usman Nurmagomedov.
Henderson has now earned two consecutive wins in Bellator. He snapped a three-fight skid in his previous appearance, scoring a split decision over Islam Mamedov in January.
Queally was appearing for the first time in nearly a year. His prior fight also came in front of an Ireland crowd, which saw him get stopped in the second round of a title fight against Patricky Pitbull.
Veteran Manhoef Retires Following Loss To Romero
Legendary fighter Melvin Manhoef retired from the sport of MMA after suffering a finish loss to former UFC talent Yoel Romero in Friday’s co-main event.
Romero finished the fight late in a ground and pound position. After being in half guard for a few minutes during the third round of their bout, Romero started to unload with punches and elbows that put Manhoef out and caused the fight to end.
Romero controlled most of the first round in ground positions. The fight was less dominant for Romero in the second frame, although he continued to succeed with shots on the feet.
Friday marked the end of a combat sports career that lasted more than two decades as a whole.
An emotional Manhoef left his MMA gloves in the middle of the Bellator cage after the fight, signaling his official send-off from the sport.
“For 28 years, [I’ve been] doing this,” said Manhoef to a standing ovation crowd. “This is what I love. And I appreciate all of the support that you gave me. But today, I think we have to hang up the gloves … Thanks for the support, you make my life great.”
His career includes notably runs in K-1 HERO’S, Strikeforce, Dream FC and Bellator. Manhoef, 46, will be remembered as one of the most notable names in combat sports that never appeared in a UFC bout.
Friday was Manhoef’s first appearance since late 2020. His prior bout was also a stoppage loss, losing to Corey Anderson at Bellator 251.
Romero’s Bellator record is now officially positive, with two wins and one loss. His first victory came earlier this year when he stopped Alex Polizzi in the closing seconds of a three-round fight.
McCourt Wins Striking Battle Over Silva
Leah McCourt scored a unanimous decision win in Friday’s main card, defeating Dayana Silva after three rounds of striking.
Both McCourt and Silva exchanged strikes throughout all three rounds of the bout. Neither fighter had significant moments where they hurt their opponent. Instead, most of the fight consisted of back-and-forth exchanges.
Some critics were divided on the decision. Three of the five media scorecards submitted to MMADecisions.com had Silva as the winner of the bout.
McCourt suffered her first Bellator loss in February, dropping a decision to Sinead Kavanagh.
Silva’s Bellator record is one win and three losses. That sole victory was her previous appearance, which saw her defeat Janay Harding on scorecards.
Carvalho Takes Decision Nod Over Burnell
Pedro Carvalho had a hard-fought victory over Mads Burnell to return to the win column on Friday night in a unanimous decision victory.
Burnell started the fight strong, focusing on ground control against Carvalho in the opening round. Carvalho started to take over in the second and third rounds, connecting with punches and succeeding with his own ground control.
Friday’s bout was a bounce-back performance for Carvalho after dropping a split decision to Piotr Niedzielski earlier this year.
Burnell has suffered two consecutive losses in Bellator now. His previous bout was a decision defeat against rising featherweight Adam Borics.
Undefeated Clarke Submits Hudson Late
Undefeated Ciaran Clarke added a sixth win to his record on Friday night, submitting Rafael Hudson late in their featherweight bout.
Clarke took Hudson down early in the third round, then slowly worked his way toward a rear naked choke submission.
Hudson had a strong start to the fight. While Clarke searched for submission early on, Hudson kept top control and landed punches in the fight.
Clarke now holds a pro record of six wins since debuting in 2019. His previous fight was in February when an injury forced Abou Tounkara out of their fight after one round.
Hudson was a short-notice opponent for Clarke, stepping in to replace Georges Sasu.
Hudson has now lost three consecutive fights.
Moore Submits Albrektsson In Return
Karl Moore opened the card with a big upset win, submitting Karl Albrektsson in the second round.
Moore tapped out Albrektsson with a rear naked choke, doing so after battling past some adversity.
Albrektsson nearly finished the fight a round before the bout actually came to an end. He dropped Moore late in the first round, scoring with an elbow from a clinch position. He then unloaded ground and pound shots, but Moore hung on by the skin of his teeth until the round ran out of time.
Moore was able to recover in-between rounds and come back with a strong second frame. He took Albrektsson down in this round, taking his back to set up the submission that caused the fight to end.
Moore was making his first appearance in nearly three years. His prior bout dated back to September 2019, when he beat Lee Chadwick on scorecards.
Albrektsson entered the bout with quite some momentum, including Bellator wins over Viktor Nemkov and Doveltdzhan Yagshimuradov.
The Rest of the Card
Brian Moore broke a two-fight skid in the final bout of the prelims, cruising to the end of a slow-paced stand-up battle against Arivaldo Lima da Silva.
Brett Johns picked up his second Bellator win on Friday night, defeating Jordan Winski on scorecards. Every round was the same for Johns, taking Winski down and landing ground and pound shots.
Darragh Kelly used a grappling-heavy game plan to control Kye Stevens and walk away with a unanimous decision win, earning his second victory as a pro.
Kane Mousah returned to the win column on Friday night, using his striking to defeat veteran Georgi Karakhanyan on scorecards. The highlight of Mousah’s performance came in the second round when he dropped Karakhanyan with a left hook.
Undefeated SBG Ireland talent Kenny Mokhonoana had one of the more impressive appearances of the night, securing a guillotine choke against Alex Bodnar after being taken down. Mokhonoana moved into full mount with this choke, keeping hold until Bodnar went to sleep and the fight was stopped. Mokhonoana’s record is now a flawless four wins.
Asael Adjoudj scored the quickest win of his career on Friday night, putting away Jordan Barton in the third minute of their bout with a clean head kick. He has now strung together four consecutive wins, including two in the Bellator cage.
Luca Poclit won his Bellator debut with a rare submission in the opening bout of the card against Dante Schiro. In what is being recognized on the Sherdog database as a “reverse arm-triangle choke,” Poclit wrapped his left arm under Schiro’s neck while in a 50-50 position on the ground. Poclit is now on an eight-fight winning streak.
Main Card (4:00PM EDT / 9:00PM IST) (Showtime)
Bout 13: Benson Henderson def. Peter Queally via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 12: Yoel Romero def. Melvin Manhoef via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 3:34)
Bout 11: Leah McCourt def. Dayana Silva via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 10: Pedro Carvalho def. Mads Burnell via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 9: Ciaran Clarke def. Rafael Hudson via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 3, 2:50)
Bout 8: Karl Moore def. Karl Albrektsson via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 3:36)
Preliminary Card (1:00PM EDT / 6:00PM IST (Youtube)
Bout 7: Brian Moore def. Arivaldo Lima da Silva via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Brett Johns def. Jordan Winski via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 5: Darragh Kelly def. Kye Stevens via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Kane Mousah def. Georgi Karakhanyan via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Kenny Mokhonoana def. Alex Bodnar via Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 1, 2:42)
Bout 2: Asael Adjoudj def. Jordan Barton via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:39)
Bout 1: Luca Poclit def. Dante Schiro via Submission, Reverse Arm Triangle Choke (RD 2, 4:31)