Vadim Nemkov is the new Bellator light heavyweight champion after a stunning second-round TKO win over Ryan Bader at Bellator 244.
Nemkov met Bader in the main event of this Friday’s Bellator 244 event. Bader was unbeaten over his last eight fights while Nemkov was riding a six-fight win streak entering the bout. The oddsmakers pegged it as a competitive bout but with the edge to Bader as the favorite owing to his standing as a double champion in Bellator.
The first round of the fight saw Nemkov impress with his speed and striking, but Bader landed a takedown late in the round and it appeared he would switch his gameplan in the second round. But the second round saw Nemkov control the cage with his striking, and out of nowhere able to connect with a head kick on Bader and then finish him with strikes to become the new Bellator light heavyweight champion. It was very impressive from the rising star.
Watch the full video of the finish below via Bellator.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) August 22, 2020
For Nemkov, the win ups his win streak to seven straight fights including wins over former UFC standouts in Bader and Phil Davis, not to mention former Bellato champions in Rafael Carvalho and Liam McGeary. Nemkov is just 28 years old and it seems like he will be an elite light heavyweight for quite some time after this amazing KO over Bader.
As for Bader, even though he lost the light heavyweight belt in this fight he remains the Bellator heavyweight champion. At age 37, perhaps it’s time that Bader permanently moves up to heavyweight as it was clear that fighting a faster opponent in Nemkov was not ideal for him at this pint of his career.
How far do you think Vadim Nemkov can go in the sport after KOing Ryan Bader?