Corey Anderson’s bad luck continued at Bellator 277

Corey Anderson

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.

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

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

Bellator 277 Preview: Vadim Nemkov – Corey Anderson

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of Bellator 277, we will see the conclusion of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix with the title on the line. The champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2) takes on his toughest test to date in Corey Anderson (16-5).

Back in 2020, Corey Anderson was granted a release from the UFC and immediately signed with Bellator. Upon signing with the promotion, he’s basically been untouchable in his three fights.

So far, Anderson is 3-0 with three finishes inside the Bellator cage. The most impressive being a knockout of former two-division champion Ryan Bader in under 60 seconds. Now, Anderson is ready to capture the title.

However, to do that, he’s going to have to defeat a man who has also been perfect in Bellator. That man is the champion Vadim Nemkov. Nemkov enters Bellator 277 with a perfect 7-0 record in the promotion.

He hasn’t lost since 2016 and he’s been incredibly impressive during his reign. He had some hiccups in his last performance against Julius Anglickas, but he erased those when he earned a submission win in the fourth round.

Bellator 277 Prediction

When Bellator announced this Grand Prix, many were picking Nemkov and Anderson to end up in the finale. On paper, these were the two best light heavyweights in the tournament outside of Rumble Johnson. However, with injuries and inactivity, you’d have to remove Rumble here.

These were the two and these are the two who are going to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight title. When examining the fight, I think there are many more advantages here for Corey Anderson than Vadim Nemkov.

When it comes to the wrestling, I’m going to have to favor Anderson here. Striking power is also something that you would have to give to Corey Anderson. Volume striking and kicks, I would give that advantage to Vadim Nemkov.

So, it all comes down to how this fight is fought at Bellator 277. If this is a range and volume type of fight, I think Vadim Nemkov has a really good chance of getting the victory. However, if this is a fight with big power moments, you’re going to see a new champion.

Ultimately, I think it feels like Corey Anderson is going to get it done tomorrow night. He’s been too good since joining Bellator and I think he’s going to have his crowning moment tomorrow when he finishes Vadim Nemkov in the fourth round to become light heavyweight champion.

Prediction: Corey Anderson by TKO – Round 4

Bellator books Grand Prix finale between Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson

Bellator has booked the finale of their light heavyweight Grand Prix. The Orange County Observer was the first to report earlier today that the promotion had finalized the matchup between the champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2) and Corey Anderson (16-5).

The matchup will take place at Bellator 277 which will take place in San Jose on April 15th. Nemkov and Anderson’s title fight will be the co-main event and the rematch between AJ McKee and Patricio Pitbull will serve as the main event.

The champion will be looking for his third successful title defense at Bellator 277. Vadim Nemkov has been sensational since making his Bellator debut a few years back. He went on an incredible run that led him to a title fight with Ryan Bader.

In that title fight, he completely dominated. Nemkov stopped Bader in the second round to become the Bellator light heavyweight champion. That led into the Grand Prix where he’s defended his title twice successfully against Julius Anglickas and Phil Davis.

Anderson’s Crowning Bellator Moment?

Back in 2020, Corey Anderson was one win away from securing a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title. He lost to Jan Blachowicz and then had to deal with some health issues. Once he was clear, Anderson asked the UFC if he could pursue other opportunities.

The UFC granted their fourth ranked light heavyweight his wish and Anderson quickly signed with Bellator. Since joining Bellator, Anderson has looked unstoppable. He’s won all three of his fights by stoppage.

In the Grand Prix, he’s ran through Ryan Bader and Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov. Despite being the challenger, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Corey Anderson as the betting favorite leading up to Bellator 277.

It’s clear that these are the two best light heavyweights in the promotion. For Bellator, this is their second straight Grand Prix where the finals turned out to be the two best guys. There were no big upsets in this tournament and now in April, we will see who the best man is.

Sizing up the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Finale

Last weekend at Bellator 268 we saw the two semifinal matchups in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. In the co-main event, Corey Anderson (16-5) took on former light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (28-7).

Meanwhile the main event consisted of Vadim Nemkov (15-2) defending his Bellator title against the alternate, Julius Anglickas (10-2). In the first matchup, Corey Anderson made quick work of Ryan Bader.

In a matchup that was supposed to be incredibly competitive, it was anything but. Anderson landed a big right hand in the opening minute and quickly stopped the Bellator heavyweight champion to punch his ticket to the finals.

The main event was the fight that surprised me the most. Nemkov was a massive favorite to successfully defend his Bellator title against Anglickas. However, it was Anglickas who struck first by dropping and hurting the champion.

Nemkov was able to weather the storm and hold on despite being hurt badly. Ultimately in the fourth round, Nemkov was able lock in a submission and get the win which booked his next title defense against Corey Anderson.

Bellator Grand Prix Finals

Last year, Corey Anderson was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot. He didn’t get that shot after he was knocked out by Jan Blachowicz and let go from his UFC contract after he requested a release. Anderson was signed by Bellator almost immediately.

Upon signing with Bellator, many thought Anderson would get an immediate title shot. However, that’s not what the promotion had in mind. Anderson dominated Melvin Manhoef in his debut before the promotion put together this Grand Prix.

When the Grand Prix was put together, the two best light heavyweights were being looked at as Anderson and Nemkov. Well, we will now see this highly anticipated matchup in the Bellator Grand Prix finals.

It’s going to be an interesting battle and whoever wins might just have a claim as the best light heavyweight in the world and not just in Bellator. Granted, Jan Blachowicz might have a lot to say about that. Either way, I’m incredibly intrigued and excited for this finale.

Bellator 268 Preview: Vadim Nemkov – Julius Anglickas

This Saturday night in the main event of Bellator 268, the light heavyweight title is on the line as the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix continues. The champion Vadim Nemkov (14-2) is back as he’s taking on the surging challenger Julius Anglickas (10-1).

Originally, Nemkov was slated to take on Rumble Johnson in this semifinal matchup. However, after falling ill, Rumble had to pull out of the fight. Anglickas was originally scheduled to be on the Bellator 268 card and the promotion decided to add him to this matchup.

Anglickas will be making his fourth appearance with Bellator. He fought on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019, but the UFC passed on him. After they didn’t sign him, Bellator scooped him up and he’s gone a perfect 3-0.

That said, Saturday night he’s going to have his hands full with the Bellator light heavyweight champion. Vadim Nemkov has been sensational since joining the promotion back in 2017. Since making his debut, he’s gone a perfect 6-0.

He captured the light heavyweight crown last year when he knocked out Ryan Bader at Bellator 244. In the opening round of the Grand Prix, he picked up his second win over Phil Davis. Despite the opponent change, Nemkov appears focused heading into Saturday.

Bellator 268 Prediction

Since losing out on his UFC contract, Anglickas has looked like a man possessed. He’s been incredibly good through his first three Bellator matchups and he does have a skillset that can give the champion some trouble on Saturday.

We’ve seen Nemkov get tired in a few of his fights. You can bet that Anglickas is going to be going for takedowns early on and he’s going to look to get the champion tired. However, Nemkov has shown the ability to stay on his feet and keep the fight at range.

When they’re striking, the Bellator champion has a big advantage. The movement and fluidity of strikes definitely favors Nemkov and I think that’s ultimately going to be the deciding factor. I wouldn’t rule out Anglickas landing a takedown here and there early on.

However, I think Nemkov is going to prove to be too much for the challenger. I think it’ll be more competitive than people thinking, but Nemkov is going to outstrike his way to another win and I think he gets a finish in the later rounds.

Prediction: Vadim Nemkov by TKO – Round 4

Illness forces Rumble Johnson out of Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix

Anthony Rumble Johnson

Bellator 268 was dealt a major blow today. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (23-6) announced via his Instagram page that he is incredibly sick and he’s having to pull out of the fight next month. Rumble was set to take on the light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (14-2).

Johnson said today, “Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I really am. Just know I need as many prayers as I can get and I’ll see you in 2022 God Willing. Never been this afraid of anything in my life but I’ve remained strong with the support of friends and family.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rumble who is clearly dealing with a tremendous illness. At this point, there’s no telling on when or if he will be able to return to Bellator. This is a massive blow to the promotion who had built so much hype surrounding Rumble in this tournament.

This is the second time that Bellator has had to alter their plans. Originally, they wanted Rumble to face Yoel Romero in the opening round of the Grand Prix. However, Romero had to pull out of the fight after failing to pass medicals. Now, Rumble’s illness is taking him out of the Grand Prix as well.

Bellator’s Next Steps

At this point, there is no word on what Bellator is going to do. They are planning on having Vadim Nemkov defend his title and compete, but there has not been a decision made on who will fight him. My guess is that they will wait until tonight’s main event concludes.

Tonight at Bellator 266, Yoel Romero and Phil Davis will battle it out. Davis lost to Nemkov in the opening round of the Grand Prix while Romero wasn’t able to compete as mentioned above. If Romero wins tonight and comes out clean, I could see Bellator asking him to step in to face Nemkov on short notice.

However, if Davis wins, I find it unlikely that they will ask him considering he’s already lost twice to Nemkov and lost to him in the opening round. Another option could be Jose Augusto Azevedo who lost to Rumble in the opening round. Time will tell, but this is a big blow to the Bellator Grand Prix.

State of the Grand Prix after Bellator 258

This past weekend at Bellator 258, we saw the final quarterfinal matchup in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (23-6) took on Jose Augusto (7-3, 1 NC) for a shot at the light heavyweight title.

The winner of Bellator 258 would fight Vadim Nemkov (13-2) in the semifinals, but the light heavyweight title would be on the line. Originally, Yoel Romero was going to fight Rumble Johnson, but he didn’t pass pre-fight medicals.

With that, Augusto stepped in. In a shocking turn of events, Augusto dropped and hurt Rumble badly in the first round. For a moment, it appeared that Augusto was going to pull off the massive upset.

However, Rumble recomposed himself and got back in the fight. In the second round, Rumble landed a massive straight right hand that put Augusto out cold. With that, Rumble made a successful Bellator debut and he moves forward to the semifinals.

Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix

With Rumble’s victory at Bellator 258, the two semifinal matchups are now set. Vadim Nemkov and Rumble will fight for the light heavyweight title on one side of the bracket.

Nemkov defeated Phil Davis by unanimous decision last month to retain his title and punch his ticket to the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, we are going to see an incredible matchup between Ryan Bader (28-6, 1 NC) and Corey Anderson (15-5).

Bader is the former Bellator light heavyweight champion and he’s the current heavyweight champion. He lost his light heavyweight crown to Vadim Nemkov and instead of moving back to heavyweight, he chose to compete in the Grand Prix to get his belt back.

Bader put on a great performance against Lyoto Machida in the first round. Since making his Bellator debut last year, Corey Anderson has looked incredibly dominant. He has two fights and two finishes thus far.

Despite Bader being the former champion, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Anderson as the betting favorite. Bellator is currently targeting July for the semifinal matchups. From there, October is the target date to crown the Grand Prix champion.

Bellator 257 Preview: Vadim Nemkov – Phil Davis 2

In the main event of Bellator 257, we will see another quarterfinal matchup in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. However, in this matchup, the light heavyweight title is on the line.

Bellator‘s light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (12-2) takes on Phil Davis (22-5). This fight is a rematch from Bellator 209 back in 2018. That night, Nemkov was able to edge Davis by split decision.

Vadim Nemkov joined Bellator back in 2017 and he’s been perfect with the promotion. The Russian who trains under the great Fedor Emelianenko appears to be someone who can be a face for the promotion moving forward.

Since making his Bellator debut, Nemkov is a perfect 5-0 with only the Davis fight going the distance. Everything culminated for Nemkov at Bellator 244 when he stopped Ryan Bader to become the light heavyweight champion.

Phil Davis made the jump from the UFC to Bellator back in 2015. Since making that jump, Davis has gone 9-2 with his only losses coming to Nemkov and Ryan Bader. Both of those losses were split decision losses.

Heading into Bellator 257, Davis has now won three fights in a row. His last victory was a split decision over Lyoto Machida, but prior to that win, he had back-to-back TKO victories.

Bellator 257 Prediction

When it comes to tonight’s main event at Bellator 257, I think Phil Davis has the much tougher task. I believe Vadim Nemkov is the much better fighter on the feet which is where I think this fight will primarily take place.

Davis does have the wrestling skills to get the Bellator champion down, but Nemkov is an extremely good grappler as well. Even if Davis can land a takedown, I’m not convinced he can keep the Russian down.

With that, I think we will primarily see these two striking in the Bellator 257 main event. I love the kicks of Nemkov and I think he’s going to utilize those to his advantage. Phil Davis is a crafty striker so I’m expecting him to have his moments.

However, if Phil Davis wants to win tonight, he has to be active and push the pace. If he’s at all passive against Nemkov, this fight isn’t going to be close. Ultimately, I think that Nemkov is going to remain the Bellator light heavyweight champion tonight.

Prediction: Vadim Nemkov by Unanimous Decision

Bellator announces move to Showtime and Light Heavyweight Grand Prix

Bellator MMA has been relatively quiet since the calendar moved over to 2021. However, they’ve been making big moves behind the scenes that would further the promotion’s vision in 2021.

Today, Bellator announced that they have agreed to a deal with Showtime and Showtime will now become the exclusive home for their events. Just last year, Bellator announced they had a deal with CBS Sports Network, but the Viacom promotion is shifting gears.

Showtime decided to get involved and both sides agreed that it would be best to move the promotion to Showtime. Bellator will also be moving their events back to Friday nights after a brief stint on Thursdays.

In addition to announcing the new deal with Showtime, Scott Coker announced some exciting news in terms of the light heavyweight division. By far, the light heavyweight division is the best that Bellator has to offer.

They made some huge signings in the last year and they are ready to capitalize. Coker announced today that Bellator would be starting a Light Heavyweight Grand Prix that will start on April 9th.

Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix

The Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix will kick off on April 9th. In the first quarter final matchup, Corey Anderson (14-5) will be taking on Bellator newcomer, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-5-1).

Also on April 9th in the main event of the evening, Ryan Bader (27-6) will be taking on Lyoto Machida (26-10). Bader is the Bellator heavyweight champion and just lost his light heavyweight title last year to Vadim Nemkov (12-2).

Of course, the matchup everyone wanted to see takes place on April 16th. Yoel Romero (13-5) and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6) will battle it out. However, despite the hype behind this matchup, it will not serve as the main event on April 16th.

Instead, that honor will belong to the Bellator Light Heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov. Nemkov will be competing in the tournament and defending his title against Phil Davis (22-5, 1 NC). An absolutely stacked field and fight fans should be very excited about this Grand Prix.