Bellator 277: Nemkov keeps title after title fight with Corey Anderson ends in a no-contest

SAITAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 29: Vadim Nemkov of Russia of reacts after defeating Goran Reljic of Croatia in ther bout Rizin Fighting GP Tournament during the Rizin Saraba Fiesta at Saitama Super Arena on December 29, 2015 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

In the co-main event of Bellator 277, we saw the conclusion of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix with the title on the line. The champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2) took on the challenger Corey Anderson (16-5).

Back in 2020, Corey Anderson looked like he was going to challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title. However, after a loss to Jan Blachowicz, Anderson requested a release and immediately signed with Bellator.

That decision has been the best decision he’s ever made. He’s fought three times for Bellator leading up to tonight and he’s dominated all three opponents. He’s 3-0 with three finishes which includes a knockout of Ryan Bader in under 60 seconds.

Standing across from Anderson was the light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov. Nemkov entered Bellator 277 having not lost a fight since 2016. Under the Bellator banner, he was a perfect 7-0. Tonight, he was looking to defend his title for the third time.

Bellator 277 Recap

Round 1

The Bellator 277 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Nemkov circles on the outside and he throws a couple of early kicks. Anderson trying to pressure here and he just misses with a big shot.

Nice 1-2 lands for Nemkov and a low kick knocks Anderson off his feet for a moment. Jab lands for Nemkov and Anderson just misses with a counter. Right hand and a jab from Nemkov lands but Anderson is upping the pressure.

Both men trade power jabs. Powerful body kick from the champion. Another nice jab from Nemkov lands. Anderson misses wildly with a right hand and it forces a clinch. Nemkov has Anderson against the fence and he’s heavy with the pressure here but he breaks it.

Low kick from Nemkov and he follows with a lead left hook. Anderson times a takedown perfectly but even better was the defense of Nemkov. He keeps it standing then lands a big elbow on the break.

Another stiff jab from Nemkov. Both men trade straight shots in the center and Anderson follows up with a 1-2. Nice calf kick from Nemkov and he follows with a nice left hook. Big jab from Nemkov lands. Nemkov shoots for a takedown, but Anderson shrugs him off. The round ends and it was a good one for the Bellator champion.

Round 2

Entering the second at Bellator 277 and Nemkov definitely took the first round. Anderson takes the center of the cage to start the second but he eats a left hook from Nemkov. Head kick attempt from Vadim Nemkov just misses.

Anderson is throwing heat, but he’s just missing early in the second. He forces a clinch and he has Nemkov against the fence. Heavy cage pressure here from Corey Anderson as he looks to take the champion down.

He pulls the legs out and he gets the takedown. Anderson looks to posture up but Nemkov is doing a decent job of controlling posture. Nemkov looks for a submission and forces a scramble, but Anderson is staying on top for now.

The champion circles to a leg and he’s trying to get Anderson off of him. Anderson does a great job of pushing forward with strength and getting Nemkov back on his back. Anderson settles into half guard and he’s working the elbows.

Blood now coming out of the nose of the champion. Nemkov works it back to full guard. Anderson postures up but can’t get off any big shots. Instead, he uses the space to get into side control. Nice hammer fist from Anderson and Nemkov tries to attack an arm.

Nemkov scrambles and he gets back to his feet. Not only that, but he gets Anderson against the fence. The round comes to a close and I have it even after two at Bellator 277.

Round 3

Entering the third at Bellator 277 and this is a razor close fight thus far. Anderson takes the center to start the third and eats a nice right hand from Nemkov. Solid left hand lands for Anderson and he’s pressing forward.

More pressure from Anderson and he eats a lead left from the champion. Big 1-2 lands for Anderson and now he’s really upping the pressure. Big takedown attempt from Corey Anderson and he gets Nemkov to the ground.

Nemkov attacking an arm here, but Anderson doesn’t appear to be in danger. Heavy top pressure here from Anderson now and he’s landing some good shots. Nemkov works his back up to the fence and he’s trying to use it to get up.

He does, but Anderson is right back on the legs. Nemkov attacks a guillotine and it looks deep. Anderson is trying desperately to escape and he pops his head out. He spins to the back and now he’s the one in a dominant position on the champion’s back.

Nemkov still has his back to the fence, but now Anderson pulls him away and settles into side control. Nemkov gets Anderson back to the full guard position. Anderson postures up and lands a good shot. Nemkov is cut after a clash of heads and the referee calls a stop to the action.

Nasty cut on the eye of Anderson and the doctor calls a stop to the action. This is going to be an interesting decision considering the Bellator champion was cut due to an accidental headbutt.

Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson fight to a No-Contest (Accidental Headbutt) – Round 3