Back in April, Bellator was ready to wrap up the final act of the year-long Grand Prix tournament. The eight top light heavyweight talents who have advanced face off in a series of 5 rounds, with Vadim Nemkov’s world championship belt on the line.
Nemkov knocked out Phil Davis in the first round before beating Julius Angelikas (replacing Anthony Johnson) in the semifinals, all the way into the final. On the other side of the bracket, Corey Anderson eliminated Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov and then Ryan Bader to secure a fight for the title in the co-main event at Bellator 277.
After all, however, that job and time made fans dissatisfied. The title race was officially declared a “no game” due to an illegal headbutt, the result of Anderson’s botched attempt to get a GnP strike from the half-back.
“It was very frustrating,” Anderson told the rally media after the game. “Especially because I broke him, you know? You can’t say I didn’t win this fight and the conflict happened. That’s it. I went out and did what I was supposed to do, like I said I was going to Did that. I said I was going to be there and dominate. He couldn’t handle my wrestling, my ground and pounds. I paced myself. And I knew, the fourth round was over.”
Whether or not Anderson is about to knock out Nemkov, he will have a chance to prove his wrestling dominance again this coming November. On their social media accounts, Bellator announced that Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 has been booked for their Nov. 18 fight card.
Entering their first fight, 32-year-old Anderson (16-5 (1 NC)) holds a three-game winning streak since 2020 by future UFC champion Young Jan Blachowicz has never lost since KO. Now 15-2 (1 NC), Nemkov is unbeaten in his last ten fights, extending to back-to-back losses for a pair under the RIZIN FF banner, Karl Albrektsson and current UFC champion Jiri Prochazka.
In addition to the lightweight main event, Bellator 288 will feature a lightweight title fight between champion Patricky Pitbull and fast-rising contender Usman Nurmagomedov . The event will be held at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates.