Today we learned that Bellator has finalized a light heavyweight title rematch for an event in November. Ariel Helwani kicked off the MMA Hour with the announcement that light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) will be taking on Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC) in November.
The matchup will headline Bellator 288 on November 18th in Chicago. This will also serve as the finale of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. These two men originally met back in April at Bellator 277. That was supposed to be the finale of the Grand Prix.
In that fight, Corey Anderson was looking sensational. After a close round one, Anderson really started to implement his game plan in the middle rounds. It certainly looked like Anderson was well on his way to winning the light heavyweight title.
However, late in the third round, there was an accidental clash of heads. When that happened, a cut got opened over the eye of Vadim Nemkov. The cut was ruled to be too bad for Nemkov to continue and the fight was called off. Because the two men hadn’t completed three rounds, the fight was ruled a No Contest.
Had the fight gone just a few more seconds, Anderson would have likely been declared the light heavyweight champion. However, the fight was called and now Anderson will have to wait longer for his chance to become light heavyweight champion.
Anderson had walked through his first three opponents in Bellator. He was 3-0 with three finishes and looked like one of the best light heavyweights in the world, not just in Bellator. I would have to think that he’ll be the betting favorite in November.
The No Contest in April snapped a nine-fight winning streak for Vadim Nemkov. During that streak, he defeated Phil Davis twice and finished the likes of Ryan Bader, Rafael Carvalho, and Liam McGeary.
Anderson was the first man to really get the better of Nemkov in Bellator. The No Contest was a blessing for Nemkov who now has the opportunity to go into the rematch having shared the cage with Anderson. It should be a good one in November.