Russian MMA star lands $1 million payday
Russia’s Vadim Nemkov defended his light heavyweight title and landed a $ 1 million prize in the process as he outpointed American rival Corey Anderson in their main bout at Bellator 288 in Chicago on Friday night.
Nemkov walked away with a 48-47, 49-46, 49-46 win on the scorecards to ensure he was crowned winner of Bellator’s light heavyweight grand prix.
Nemkov, 30, had faced off against former UFC contender Anderson at Bellator 277 in April, but the fight ended in a no contest after an accidental clash of heads left the Russian with a severe gash.
At Chicago’s Wintrust Arena on Friday, it was Nemkov who dominated most of the action, stifling Anderson’s wrestling and dropping his opponent with a spinning wheel-kick at the end of the first round.
Nemkov stuffed all 15 of the takedown attempts he faced from his opponent, shutting down the pressure consistently throughout the five rounds.
Nemkov celebrated his payday inside the cage alongside Russian MMA icon and teammate Fedor Emelianenko, whose blockbuster retirement fight against Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader was confirmed earlier in the day.
Nemkov is next set to face charismatic former UFC veteran Yoel Romero at Bellator 290 on February 4 – the same date Emelianenko meets Bader.
Nemkov is undefeated in 11 fights since 2017, and boasts a 16-2 career ledger, with one no-contest. Romero, 45, has won two of his three fights since joining the Bellator banner last year following an eight-year stay in the UFC.