Tomorrow night in the main event of Bellator 297, the light heavyweight title is on the line. Champion Vadim Nemkov (16-2, 1 NC) will look to defend his title for a fourth time as he takes on “The Soldier of God” Yoel Romero (15-6).
Yoel Romero is someone that just doesn’t seem to be truly getting older. The Soldier of God is now 46 years old and here he is once again challenging for a world title. Romero and Dan Henderson must’ve been visiting the same fountain of youth throughout their career.
Romero enters this title shot having won back-to-back fights and both of those came via knockout. Most recently, he knocked out Melvin Manhoef in the third round of their fight back in September. That said, he’s facing the toughest challenge he’s had inside the Bellator cage.
Vadim Nemkov hasn’t tasted defeat in seven years. With Bellator, the light heavyweight champion has gone 8-0, 1 NC in nine fights. The one No Contest came against Corey Anderson in the original Grand Prix finals. However, they immediately ran things back and Nemkov dominated the fight.
He’s defeated everyone who has stepped in front of him since making the jump to the promotion back in 2017. Will Yoel Romero just be the next name on his hit list?
Bellator 297 Prediction
Yoel Romero is one of those guys who makes a fight hard to predict. He’s such a wild card because of the raw attributes that he brings to the cage every time he fights. The reality is that he’s one of the most decorated wrestlers to have ever competed in MMA.
He also has ungodly power than can put anyone out. He’s an explosive athlete who will throw flying knees and a number of different strikes at his opponents. Then, he’ll have fights where he essentially doesn’t do much and he loses a decision (see the Phil Davis and Israel Adesanya fights).
He does have the attributes to become Bellator light heavyweight champion. However, I don’t see it happening. I think Vadim Nemkov is going to come in with a very calculated striking game plan that is going to frustrate Romero throughout their fight.
I’m seeing a heavy diet of body and leg kicks with long straight shots. I expect Nemkov to play the distance game to avoid the big power of Romero. I don’t think I can predict a finish for Nemkov, but I’m very comfortable picking him to win a decision.
Prediction: Vadim Nemkov by Unanimous Decision