Ryan Bader vs. Vadim Nemkov title fight targeted for Bellator 244 in Connecticut
The Bellator heavyweight and lightweight heavyweight champion, Bader (27-5 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) will defend his 205-pound title against Nemkov on Aug. 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. – pending paperwork finalization.
Sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie after an initial report from Russian reporter Alexey Safanov on Wednesday. They asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Prior to Bellator shutting down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the matchup originally was scheduled for May 9 at SAP Center in San Jose. The event will mark the third card the promotion has held since its time off.
Bader competed at heavyweight in his four most recent bouts. After he earned back-to-back victories at 205 pounds, Bader entered the Bellator heavyweight grand prix in 2018. He won three fights in the tournament, including a finish of Fedor Emelianenko, to claim the heavyweight title.
Last September, Bader’s most recent outing was the first no contest of his career. Against veteran heavyweight Cheick Kongo, Bader retained his title after an inadvertent eye poke.
As for Nemkov (11-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), the surging Russian challenger has quietly climbed up the divisional ladder. Nemkov has earned three finishes in four promotional outings, with wins over PFL tournament winner Philipe Lins, former Bellator title contender Linton Vassell, and former Bellator champions Liam McGeary and Phil Davis.