Ryan Bader to defend light heavyweight title at Bellator 243 against Vadim Nemkov

Ryan Bader
Image: Bellator on Instagram

Ryan Bader will look to defend his light heavyweight title for the first time since November of 2017.

On the Bellator 238 broadcast, Bader announced he will battle Vadim Nemkov on May 9 in San Jose, California at Bellator 243. The champ-champ recently revealed he was going to defend the light heavyweight title on social media.

The current light heavyweight and heavyweight champion in Bader, has spent the last two years fighting at heavyweight. He won the vacant belt after winning the heavyweight grand prix with a knockout win over Fedor Emelianenko.

Bader is coming off a no-contest to Cheick Kongo back at Bellator 226, where he was looking to defend his heavyweight title. The fight was called off after several eye pokes to Kongo resulted in him not being able to see. Before that, he had the win over Emelianenko. His other wins in the grand prix came over Matt Mitrione and a TKO win over King Mo.

In his last fight at 205 pounds, he TKO’d Linton Vassell to defend his title for the first time. After signing with Bellator, he received an immediate title shot and edged out a split-decision over Phil Davis to win the belt.

Vadim Nemkov, meanwhile, is 11-2 as a pro and riding a very impressive six-fight winning streak including being 2-0 in Bellator. He lost back-to-back fights in RIZIN to Jiri Prochzaka by TKO and by split-decision to Karl Albrektsson.

In his career, the Russian has notable wins over Liam McGeary, Phil Davis, and most recently, Rafael Carvalho. This will be his first time fighting for Bellator gold.

This fight will be the main event and more fights will be announced soon.

Who do you see winning this fight between Ryan Bader and Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 243 in May? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/24/2020.