Bellator 218: Emmanuel Sanchez staying ready for all possibilities at featherweight

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Emmanuel Sanchez wasn’t exactly thrilled with Georgi Karakhanyan’s game plan in their Friday rematch.

Karakhanyan (28-9-1 MMA, 6-7 BMMA) took down Sanchez (18-4 MMA, 10-3 BMMA) in the first round and essentially kept him on the canvas most of the first round. He tried to do the same in the third, too, with the Bellator 218 featherweight main event knotted at a round a piece.

But Sanchez rallied through Karakhanyan’s attempts to stifle him and won a unanimous decision. In their first fight in January 2017, Sanchez won a majority decision.

“This time around, I’ll just be real – he just held me down,” Sanchez told MMA Junkie after the fight. “That wasn’t a good idea, either, because I hit him every position that I had. I felt like I won all three rounds. In the first, yeah, he was on top of me, but he didn’t do anything. There’s not a scratch on me.”

Sanchez beat Karakhanyan with a trio of 29-28 scores from the judges at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card aired on Paramount and streamed on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.

The victory got Sanchez back in the win column after a featherweight title fight loss to champ Patricio Freire this past fall.

Sanchez said he’ll stay ready in case A.J. McKee or former champion Pat Curran get hurt in the next seven weeks. Those two are part of Bellator’s return to the Chicago area on May 11. Beyond that outside shot, Sanchez will have his eye on a spot in the 145-pound tournament that will start up this fall.

To hear from Sanchez, check out the video above, and don’t miss highlights of his win below.

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And for complete coverage of Bellator 218, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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