Bellator 208 takes place Saturday, October 13 at Nassau Colliseum in Unionville, New York. The offshore sportsbooks recently released the full opening odds for the card, and here they are.
Bellator 208 Opening Odds
Fedor Emelianenko -300
Chael Sonnen +220
Benson Henderson -350
Saad Awad +250
Cheick Kongo -245
Tim Johnson +175
Alexander Shlemenko -120
Anatoly Tokov -120
Henry Corrales -260
Andy Main +180
And here are my thoughts on the Bellator 208 opening odds:
– The main event sees Emelianenko and Sonnen square off in a heavyweight tournament semi-final. Emelianenko knocked out Frank Mir in the quarter-finals while Sonnen outpointed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for a decision. Both guys are at the tails ends of their careers but both guys looked pretty good in their respective first-round matchups. Having said that, I like Emelianenko here. He should be able to counter Sonnen’s takedowns and on the feet I give Emelianenko a big advantage. I’ll take him by knockout.
– The co-main event also sees lopsided odds in favor of Henderson, but I’m not sure he gets by Awad so easily. To put it bluntly, Henderson has been a big disappointment in Bellator with a 2-3 record and looks far removed from his days as a UFC champ. Awad is on a four-fight win streak and overall has an 11-5 record in Bellator. Henderson has fought better competition and is more provenn but these odds seem very lopsided and scream stay away from this one. Based on the odds, I would rather take a punt on Awad.
– Kongo vs. Johnson has the potential to be a really boring fight. I coul see it being a fence pushing contest for 15 minutes. Kongo is 43 now but he’s won six straight fights and is overall 10-2 in Bellator. Johnson, meanwhile, is making his Bellator debut after a 4-3 run in the UFC. As good as Kongo has looked lately, I think Johnson is pretty underrated and was surprised to see him as this big of an underdog at first glance. Like the last fight, the dog may be worth taking a stab on at these odds. It looks like a dog-or-pass situation.
– The Shlemenko vs. Tokov fight is interesting. Shlemenko has lost two straight fights and was knocked out in M-1 back in June while Tokov is 2-0 in Bellator and his only loss since 2012 was a decision defeat to current UFC standout Ramazan Emeev. I’d have to go with Tokov considering the Pick ’em odds here, and I wasn’t surprised to see bettors fade Shlemenko and go with Tokov early on.
– Rounding out the main card, we have Corrales who has won three straight fights taking on Main who recently got back into the win column in LFA. Corrales has fought the higher level of competition in Bellator and while he hasn’t always been successful he has really turned things around. Main has been around for a while but for whatever reason has just never been able to take the next step in his career. The odds are high on Corrales but based on how well he’s performed in Bellator lately it makes sense he’s the favorite here.