Bellator: Who should get the next shot at Vadim Nemkov?

This past weekend at Bellator 251, Corey Anderson made his promotional debut against Melvin Manhoef. Anderson was a top ranked light heavyweight in the UFC before making the promotional jump. Many believe he can be champion inside of Bellator.

Anderson completely dominated the fight from the opening bell to the finish. Manhoef truly had no answer for Anderson’s superior wrestling. In the second round, Anderson got Manhoef to the ground and blitzed him with elbows leading to a TKO victory.

The performance was so impressive that many think he should be next for the Bellator light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov. Nemkov just won the title back in August when he knocked out former champion, Ryan Bader, at Bellator 244.

Nemkov is unbeaten in his Bellator career at 5-0. He’s already taken out the likes of Liam McGeary, Phil Davis, and Rafael Carvalho. He is the cream of the crop when it comes to Bellator’s light heavyweight division.

A matchup between Nemkov and Anderson would be something fresh for the promotion’s light heavyweight division. However, there’s a familiar opponent for Nemkov that might be in front of Corey Anderson for a title shot.

What should Bellator do?

The fighter that I’m referring to is former Bellator light heavyweight champion, Phil Davis. Since making the jump to Bellator in 2015, Davis has only lost two fights. He lost to Ryan Bader and he lost a split decision to the current champion.

Other than that, it’s been smooth sailing for Davis. Davis is coming off of a split decision victory over Lyoto Machida back in September. While the performance wasn’t sensational, it was still the third straight victory for Davis since his loss to Nemkov.

Bellator is in a very interesting position. Anderson’s dominant performance put the division on notice. A fight between Nemkov and Anderson would be something new for the division. However, can they ignore the longevity of Davis’ run in Bellator?

If I had to guess, I think that the promotion will lean towards giving the fight to Davis with Anderson fighting the winner. I could be wrong, but Anderson’s post-fight interview may have told us the future. He called out both Nemkov and Davis in his interview.

Corey Anderson dominates Melvin Manhoef in Bellator debut

Corey Anderson

Tonight at Bellator 251, Corey Anderson (14-5) made his debut with the promotion. He took on famed striker Melvin Manhoef (32-15-1, 2 NC) in the main event. The fight was a good way for Anderson to get his feet wet with Bellator.

When the matchup was booked by Bellator, many knew how Anderson would have to win the fight. Anderson is a strong wrestler while Manhoef is known for his world class striking. Anderson was going to need to go back to his routes to win this one.

The last we saw Corey Anderson in a cage, he was knocked out by current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz. Anderson admittedly said that he had fallen in love with striking, but he can’t get away from his wrestling base.

Tonight, he went back to what he did best. In the main event of Bellator 251, it was all Corey Anderson. Anderson shot in immediately in the first round and took Manhoef down. Manhoef didn’t have any answers for Anderson’s wrestling attack all night.

After spending the majority of the first round on top, Anderson struck a little in the second. However, it was all just to keep Manhoef guessing. Anderson took Manhoef down in the second and with a brutal flurry of elbows finished the fight.

What’s next after Bellator 251

Tonight was the perfect Bellator debut for Corey Anderson. The matchmakers did a really good job of giving Anderson an opponent that could really showcase what he does best. Anderson delivered to the max with his performance tonight.

After this, there are no questions about what should be next for Anderson. Corey Anderson should be challenging for the Bellator light heavyweight championship. Now, there’s no guarantee that Anderson will get the next shot.

Phil Davis is also deserving of the next shot at the Bellator light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov. Bellator’s light heavyweight division is looking pretty good with those three at the top of the division.

If I had to guess, I think that Nemkov will likely defend his title against Phil Davis. However, Anderson will be the first in line for the winner of that fight. Anderson called out both of them after his successful Bellator debut.

Bellator 251 Main Event Preview

Tomorrow night, Bellator MMA returns and they are featuring a solid contest in their main event. Top light heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson (13-5), will be making his promotional debut as he takes on striker, Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1, 2 NC).

Entering 2020, Corey Anderson looked like he was going to be getting a shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship. However, Anderson ran into some Polish Power and was defeated by Jan Blachowicz back in February.

After that loss, Anderson dealt with some health issues outside the cage. Once he was ready to get going, Anderson contemplated his future with the promotion. He wanted to see what other promotions had to offer him.

Anderson asked for his released, and was almost immediately signed by Bellator. He was ranked fourth in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and immediately became a top contender in Bellator. If he wins tomorrow night, he might be in line to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight championship.

Bellator 251 Preview

At Bellator 251, I’m expecting Anderson to really lean on his wrestling attack. While he showed some improved striking in his win over Johnny Walker, I don’t expect Anderson to get crazy. I think he might play it safe in his Bellator debut.

Standing across from Anderson will be Melvin Manhoef. Manhoef is a former professional kickboxer, and he’s known for his dynamic striking and power. Out of his 32 professional wins, 29 of them have come via knockout.

This fight is going to come down to where it takes place. I don’t expect Anderson to play with the fire very long tomorrow. He’s not going to have the advantage on the feet, and I don’t expect him to try to strike with Manhoef.

I think Anderson will throw a few things out there early, but mainly trying to setup his takedowns. If Manhoef can keep it standing, he’s got a good shot. We’ve seen Anderson be put away with strikes, and Manhoef has the power to pull it off. However, my guess is that the wrestling takes over in this one.

Prediction: Corey Anderson by Unanimous Decision

Corey Anderson to make Bellator debut against Melvin Manhoef

Corey Anderson

Bellator has announced it’s headliner for their fight night on November 5th. President Scott Coker told CBS Sports Network today that newly signed Corey Anderson (13-5) will be taking on Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1, 2 NC) in his promotional debut.

This will be the first Bellator fight for Manhoef in 2020. The 44 year old returned to the Bellator cage in 2019 where he went 2-0 against Kent Kauppinen and Yannick Bahati. Manhoef is known for his dangerous striking which was on display against Bahati.

Having fought all around the world, Manhoef is not going to be afraid of this moment. He’s got the striking and the power to put anyone out who stands in front of him. This is a very tough stylistic matchup for him, but don’t expect him to shy away.

Throughout his career, Manhoef has fought for all the big promotions outside the UFC. He’s fought in Bellator, ONE, Strikeforce, Dream, and K1 throughout his long career. He’s been in there against some big names from Robbie Lawler to Gegard Mousasi.

Bellator Debut for Anderson

Bellator made waves a while back when they announced that they had signed Corey Anderson. Anderson was the fourth ranked light heavyweight in the UFC, but he decided to ask for his release. Upon getting his release Bellator scooped him up right away.

Coming into 2020, Anderson looked to be primed for a title shot in the UFC. However, he was knocked out in the first round by the current UFC champion, Jan Blachowicz back in February. That completely derailed his plans.

Following a health scare, Anderson decided to ask the UFC for more money. When the UFC wasn’t willing to give him more, he asked for his release. Shortly after, he landed a lucrative contract with Bellator and he’s expected to be a force in their light heavyweight division.

While Anderson will have to be aware of Manhoef’s striking, this is a very winnable fight for Anderson. If he utilizes his wrestling skills to the best of his ability, he should be able to get a win while getting his feet wet in the Bellator cage.