This past Friday night in the co-main event of Bellator 277, we saw what was supposed to be the conclusion of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) was defending his title against Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC).
The fight started out well for the champion. Nemkov was doing a good job of using his kicks and speed to evade the big strikes of Corey Anderson. While the round was close, I had Nemkov taking the first round.
However, in the second round, Corey Anderson really started to take over. Anderson was able to use his wrestling and his power to change the trajectory of the fight. He looked confident and determined after the second round while Nemkov showed signs of concern.
In the third round, it was more of the same. It looked like Corey Anderson was going to cash that $1 million check and be crowned Bellator light heavyweight champion. However, everything changed in the final seconds of the round.
With about ten seconds left in the round, Anderson went to throw an elbow from guard. However, he missed and there was a clash of heads. The clash forced open a massive cut over the eye of the Bellator light heavyweight champion. Immediately the doctor waved off the fight and it was declared a No Contest.
What’s next after Bellator 277?
There is no doubt in my mind that Corey Anderson would have gone on to win at Bellator 277 had that headbutt not happened. However, it did happen and Nemkov remains the champion while the Grand Prix remains unresolved.
Now, they’ll have to run it back at a future date with everything on the line once again. This No Contest result is just another break of bad luck for Corey Anderson. In 2019, Anderson looked poised for a UFC title shot.
However, after the fight was given to Dominick Reyes, Anderson was forced to take a fight with Jan Blachowicz. He was knocked out in that fight then suffered some health setbacks. These setbacks caused him to ask for his release and led to him signing with Bellator.
Now, he finally climbed that ladder to become a world champion and it was taken away by accident. I expect Anderson to be the favorite whenever Bellator rebooks the title fight, but Nemkov isn’t going to roll over and he’s going to be well prepared.