Benson
Henderson
, even at 38 years of age, can still get the job
done.

The former
Ultimate Fighting Championship
and
World Extreme Cagefighting
titleholder ran circles around
Peter
Queally
and strengthened his position in the Bellator
MMA
lightweight division with a lopsided unanimous decision in
their
Bellator 285
headliner on Friday at 3Arena in Dublin. All three
judges arrived at the same verdict: 49-45 for Henderson (30-11, 7-6
Bellator), who was deducted a point for an inadvertent low blow in
the second round.

Nothing worked for Queally (13-7-1, 2-3 Bellator). Henderson pulled
when the Irishman pushed, lured him into a tarpit clinches,
executed takedowns, racked up points with ground-and-pound—his
knees to the thigh were particularly effective—and kept “The
Showstopper” bottled up along the fence. Even at range, the

MMA Lab
mainstay was the superior fighter. He buried kicks into
both of Queally’s legs and opened multiple cuts with standing
upward elbows. The experience was nothing short of miserable for
the hometown underdog.

In the co-main event, American Top Team’s Yoel Romero
sent the retiring Melvin
Manhoef
out on his shield, as he battered the Dutch knockout
artist unconscious with savage elbows from half guard in the third
round of their pairing at 205 pounds. Romero (15-6, 2-1 Bellator)
sealed the deal 3:34 into Round 3, winning for the second time in
as many outings.

It was an exercise in unsurprising futility until the finish.
Romero landed a takedown, made a brief pass at a forearm choke and
then tuned up the brutality.
He drove one elbow into Manhoef’s exposed face, followed with
another and continued to fire away until the Dutchman lay supine
and unconscious at the base of the cage
.

Manhoef (32-16-1, 4-5 Bellator) closes out his remarkable mixed
martial arts career—it began on Dec. 2, 1995—on a two-fight losing
streak.

Meanwhile, Next Generation MMA representative Leah
McCourt
rebounded from her February defeat to Sinead
Kavanagh
at Bellator 275 with a unanimous decision over
Dayana
Silva
in a three-round women’s featherweight showdown. Scores
were 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27, all for McCourt (7-2, 6-1
Bellator).

Silva (10-8, 1-3 Bellator) did some damage with sneaky jabs,
straight right hands and lunging left hooks but too often played
into her opponent’s hands. McCourt drew the Nova Uniao-trained
Brazilian into one close-quarters exchange after another, piling up
points with knees to the body and short punches to the head in the
clinch. It devolved into something of a slog down the stretch,
though Silva largely failed to exploit the openings the onset of
fatigue afforded her.

Elsewhere, crisp combination punching and undying
stick-to-itiveness carried Pedro
Carvalho
to a unanimous decision over former Cage Warriors
Fighting Championship titleholder Mads
Burnell
in a three-round featherweight feature. All three
judges sided with Carvalho (13-6, 6-3 Bellator): 30-27, 29-28 and
29-28.

Two closely contested rounds gave way to the decisive third. There,
Carvalho worked over the Dane’s body with punches, kicks and knees,
secured a takedown inside the first 90 seconds and swamped the Arte
Suave standout with positional control and ground-and-pound.
Burnell (16-5, 3-2 Bellator) was never in danger of being finished,
but he lacked the gas and wherewithal to get back to his feet when
doing so was paramount.

Further down the main draw, undefeated SBG Ireland prospect
Ciaran
Clarke
dispatched Rafael
Hudson
with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their
catchweight showcase at 150 pounds. The resilient Clarke (6-0, 6-0
Bellator) drew the curtain 2:50 into Round 3.

A short-notice substitution for Georges
Sasu
, Hudson (5-4, 0-1 Bellator) watched his shot an upset come
and go. He staggered Clarke with a thudding right hand in the first
round, powered into top position and fired away with punches in his
bid for a finish. The Irishman kept his cool under duress,
threatened with two armbars from his back and lured Hudson out into
deeper water.
Clarke turned the tide in Round 2 and carried his momentum into the
third, where he executed a takedown, moved to his counterpart’s
back and cinched the choke after an extended struggle in the
canvas
.

One of Clarke’s stablemates took notes. Former Cage Warriors
champion Karl Moore
made a triumphant return to the cage following a three-year absence
and submitted Karl
Albrektsson
with a face crank in the second round of their
featured light heavyweight attraction. Albrektsson (13-4, 2-2
Bellator) conceded defeat 3:36 into Round 2.

Moore (10-2, 2-0 Bellator) withstood a harrowing exchange at the
end of the first period—Albrektsson felled the SBG Ireland rep with
an elbow strike from the clinch, climbed to mount and flurried with
ground-and-pound—that nearly resulted in his being finished. The
respite between rounds allowed him to clear his head.

Moore struck for a takedown midway through the middle stanza,
progressed to the back and put himself in position for the crank.
His crushing squeeze drew out the tap soon after
.

The loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for Albrektsson.

In other action, Brett Johns
(19-3, 2-1 Bellator) cruised to a unanimous decision over Jordan
Winski
(12-4, 1-2 Bellator) in a three-round bantamweight
battle, earning 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26 scores from the judiciary;
Luca
Poclit
(8-1, 1-0 Bellator) put Dante
Schiro
to sleep (9-4, 1-2 Bellator) with a reverse arm-triangle
choke 4:31 into the second round of their welterweight pairing,

launching himself into “Submission of the Year” consideration in
the process
; Brian Moore
(15-9, 6-5 Bellator) outpointed Arivaldo
Lima da Silva
(19-10, 0-1 Bellator) in a three-round
bantamweight scrap, sweeping the scorecards with 30-27s across the
board; Kenny
Mokhonoana
(4-0, 1-0 Bellator) choked Alex Bodnar
(4-2, 0-1 Bellator) with
a mounted guillotine 2:42 into the first round of their
featherweight tilt
; Darragh
Kelly
(2-0, 2-0 Bellator) laid claim to a unanimous
verdict—30-27, 30-26, 30-26—over Kye Stevens
(3-2, 0-1 Bellator) in a three-round lightweight confrontation;
Kane
Mousah
(14-4, 3-2 Bellator) took a unanimous decision from
Georgi
Karakhanyan
(31-14-1, 9-12 Bellator) in a three-round
lightweight affair, drawing 30-27 marks from all three judges; and
Asael
Adjoudj
(4-1, 2-1 Bellator) cut down Jordan
Barton
(7-3-1, 1-2 Bellator) with
a head kick and follow-up punches 2:39 into the first round of
their featherweight encounter
.





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Benson Henderson Outclasses Peter Queally in Bellator 285 Main Event