Benson Henderson underlined his world-class credentials as he produced a dominant display to claim a shutout victory over Irish favourite Peter Queally in the main event of Bellator 285 in Dublin.

The pair faced off in the headliner at the 3Arena, where the American reduced the raucous Irish crowd to a murmur as he nullified Queally’s striking threat with a combination of pressure, wrestling and close-quarters striking.

Queally started fast and pushed Henderson onto the back foot early, but the former UFC champ turned to his wrestling to take control of the fight mid-way through the opening round. While Henderson didn’t offer much offence other than some knees to the thigh, his wrestling approach helped put him in a strong position heading into the second round.

However, a thumping kick to Queally’s groin in the opening seconds of the round forced a lengthy injury timeout, as referee Kevin MacDonald deducted a point from Henderson after stating that as a result of the illegal kick, Queally was “not the same fighter he was.”

Despite that point deduction, Henderson continued to push forward through Rounds 2 and 3, using his wrestling to keep Queally on the back foot and employing a stand-up attack packed with short elbows from close quarters to keep the judges alert to his striking output.

One of those short elbows found its mark in a major way at the start of Round 4 as he dropped the Irishman down to one knee. But Queally covered up well to avoid Henderson’s follow-up strikes as the American struggled to put “The Showstopper” away.

But, despite Queally escaping the predicament, Henderson refused to give him a moment’s rest as he closed the distance immediately with more strikes before wearing against him on the fence and punishing Queally with a constant barrage of punches to the ribcage.

By the start of the final round, Henderson had already landed more than 200 strikes on Queally, and both men waved to the crowd to get behind them for the final five minutes of the fight.

Once again, it was Henderson calling the tune as he chased a late finish. But Queally stubbornly stayed in the fight all the way to the final bell in a valiant effort.

After the scorecards were totalled, Henderson’s win was confirmed with scores of 49-45 on all three cards after landing a remarkable 255 strikes across the five-round fight.

Romero smashes retiring Manhoef

In the co-main event, Yoel Romero scored another scary knockout victory as Melvin Manhoef confirmed his retirement from MMA.

Romero’s brutal knockout of Manhoef in the final round proved that the 45-year-old is still a terrifying prospect at either 185 or 205 pounds, while Manhoef brought the curtain down on a stellar career that saw him claim 29 knockouts from his 32 career victories

Romero took control in the first round when a superbly-timed low leg kick swept Manhoef to the canvas and Romero followed his man to the floor and immediately set to work on the mat.

Romero looked to be on his way to an Americana, but Manhoef managed to survive and remain out of serious trouble for the rest of the round as Romero seemed content to simply exert pressure from top position through the second half of the round.

Manhoef came out looking to land his famed power punches in Round 2, but struggled to find a clean connection on the elusive Romero. Indeed, Romero’s kicks from range and blitzes forward forced Manhoef backward much more markedly than the Dutchman could manage on the Cuban.

With neither man managing to cleanly land anything of significance, it meant the crowd was on the edge of their seats for the third and final round. After a few heavy shots were thrown by both men in the early exchanges, Romero switched gears and, after one faked shot, shot in and took Manhoef to the mat.

The big Cuban worked from half-guard with some heavy ground strikes as Manhoef desperately tried to control Romero’s posture. But “The Soldier of God” wouldn’t be denied as he landed a salvo of vicious elbows to knock out Manhoef and seal the third-round finish.

McCourt returns to winning ways

Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt got back into the win column after a strong performance against Brazil’s Dayana Silva.

McCourt showed her improved striking early as she stung Silva with long, straight shots, and held the upper hand, both on the feet and in the grappling exchanges as she ran out a comfortable winner on the scorecards.

Carvalho bounces back

Portuguese featherweight contender Pedro Carvalho claimed a huge bounceback victory to defeat Mads Burnell and put himself right back into the championship picture at 145 pounds.

Burnell came into the bout ranked third in the Bellator featherweight list, despite defeat to upcoming title challenger Adam Borics in his last outing. But Carvalho’s form was more patchy, having lost three of his previous four bouts heading into their Dublin showdown.

Burnell started well and used his grappling to hold the upper hand through most of the opening round, but Carvalho responded well in the second round and enjoyed plenty of success of his own on the mat after the restart.

It meant the bout was on a knife edge heading into the final frame, and Carvalho loaded up and threw the kitchen sink at Burnell, hammering him with knees in the clinch before taking his man to the mat.

With the Portuguese contender’s gas tank looking deeper than the Dane’s, Carvalho dominated from the top while preventing Burnell from reversing position as he ran out the clock after pinning his opponent to the mat for the majority of the round.

Carvalho’s strong final round saw him secure the unanimous decision victory with scores of 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 as he pushed himself back toward the division’s elite.

Clarke weathers the storm before claiming crowd-pleasing sub

Rising Irish featherweight star Ciaran Clarke added a fifth professional victory to keep alive his undefeated start to life in the pros.

Clarke was stunned early by Brazilian striker Rafael Hudson, but the Drogheda native rallied superbly to swiftly take over the bout before eventually submitting his man with a rear-naked choke in the third round.

Clarke’s heart and grit shone through early as, roared on by the Dublin crowd, he fought through adversity to claim the victory and score the third rear-naked choke finish of his young career.

Moore turns the tables to finish Albrektsson

In the opening bout of the main card, former Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion Karl Moore put his injury woes behind him with a huge come-from-behind victory over Swedish contender Karl Albrektsson.

Moore started well enough as he established his strikes against Albrektsson, but the big Swede suddenly made the breakthrough with a short elbow that dropped the Northern Irishman to the canvas. But, despite Albrektsson’s best efforts, Moore stayed in the fight and survived the round โ€“ just.

The second round saw Moore fight smartly as he turned to his clinch work and grappling to smother Albrektsson’s strikes and buy himself some additional time to recover. Then, with his head cleared, Moore went for the win, and got it.

A takedown was followed by some good control on the canvas as he quickly established top position before transitioning to the back and locking up a rear-naked choke/face crank to force the submission at the 3:36 mark.

It was a huge win for Moore, who claimed his 10th professional win in his first outing since 2019, then issued a grinning callout of Yoel Romero, signing off with a cheeky, “Maybe I’ll see you soon, boy!”

Bellator 285: Official Results


  • Benson Henderson def. Peter Queally via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45)
  • Yoel Romero def. Melvin Manhoef via knockout (elbows) โ€“ Round 3, 3:34
  • Leah McCourt def. Dayana Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Pedro Carvalho def. Mads Burnell via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Ciaran Clarke def. Rafael Hudson via submission (rear-naked choke) โ€“ Round 3, 2:50
  • Karl Moore def. Karl Albrektsson via submission (rear-naked choke) โ€“ Round 2, 3:36


  • Brian Moore def. Arivaldo Lima da Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Brett Johns def. Jordan Winski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Darragh Kelly def. Kye Stevens via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Kane Mousah def. Georgi Karakhanyan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Kenny Mokhonoana def. Alex Bodnar via technical submission (guillotine choke) โ€“ Round 1, 2:42
  • Asael Adjoudj def. Jordan Barton via TKO (head kick and punches) โ€“ Round 1, 2:39
  • Luca Poclit def. Dante Schiro via technical submission (modified arm-triangle choke) โ€“ Round 2, 4:31