Vadim Nemkov Defends Bellator Light-Heavyweight Title Against Phil Davis At Bellator 257

Vadim Nemkov (center) poses for a photo with his championship belt after making his first title defense against Phil Davis at Bellator 257.

Vadim Nemkov Defends Bellator Light-Heavyweight Title Against Phil Davis At Bellator 257

We’ve been given a great night of fights tonight at Bellator 257, where we witnessed two light-heavyweight gran prix bouts go down.

The first of those gran prix bouts came between Corey Anderson and Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the co-main event, while the second comes between Bellator light-heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov and Phil Davis, a main event title fight rematch of their 2018 showdown.

Their first encounter showed Nemkov defeat Davis via split decision after three rounds. Now they get five rounds to see who the better man really is. Their first fight was very close, and it’s always great seeing rematches, especially when they’re championship fights.

Since their first bout, Davis has gone 3-0 with two finishes, defeating a Bellator & UFC champion in that time, while Nemkov has gone 2-0 with two finishes, defeating Bellator champions in both of those outings.

Continue reading to see how this epic light-heavyweight gran prix title fight went down:

Official Result: Vadim Nemkov def. Phil Davis via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Round 1

Nemkov gets active with his striking right away, landing a number of calf kicks, as well as a series of one-twos.

Davis’ defense is holding up for the most part, but he’s certainly falling behind early, landing a fourth of the strikes Nemkov is.

Round 2

Nemkov comes out pressuring Davis’ back toward the fence, as he was in the first, until Davis cracks him with a nice overhand right. It didn’t hurt Nemkov, but it definitely backed him up a little to rethink his strategy.

Nemkov drops Davis midway through the round with a hard hook and Davis immediately jumps on a single leg for safety.

Davis has Nemkov up against the fence, until Nemkov wraps Davis in a guillotine choke to defend the takedown.

Davis may be a stellar wrestler, placing in two NCAA national championships and winning one of them, but Nemkov is an international master of sport in combat sambo, and it’s been working to combat Davis’ takedowns.

Round 3

Davis lands a number of his own nice calf kicks through this round, but is still getting pieced up throughout the majority of it. Nemkov shoots on a takedown with ten seconds left, which Davis handily stuffs.

Round 4

This fight is definitely starting to slip away from Davis, it’s not at all looking like their first encounter.

We’re seeing the brilliant evolution of Nemkov, he just may be the best light-heavyweight in the world. Davis has only been beat convincingly twice, this will be the third.

Round 5

Davis is pressing forward trying to stand his ground, but it isn’t enough. He isn’t as good as Nemkov on the feet, and this fight hasn’t taken any part on the mat.

Nemkov shoots for another takedown, but is again denied and they’re back to their feet.

After pummeling for position Davis secures double underhooks on the champion, but he doesn’t want control right now. Davis needs a finish, but he doesn’t get it. It looks like our champion will remain the same at Bellator 257 tonight.

We’ll be honest, the scorecards were quite shocking, it appeared to be an easy 50-45 for the Russian, but he secures his first title defense tonight nonetheless.

author avatar
Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!