Following his claim of the Bellator light-heavyweight grand prix championship, where he defended his Bellator light-heavyweight championship for the third time, Vadim Nemkov has his next challenger lined up already in four-time UFC middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero.
This championship bout is to go down at Bellator 290 on February 4, 2023, live from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California.
Vadim Nemkov most recently battled Corey Anderson in a rematch last month in November at Bellator 288, and we saw a much different fight than their first encounter. In Nemkov’s first fight with Anderson back in April, he was absolutely mauled prior to the fight ending via no contest due to an accidental headbutt at the end of round three.
Their rematch showed a different story however, as Nemkov was able to stuff all 16 of Anderson’s takedown attempts en route to outstriking him handily to a unanimous decision victory.
Prior to those bouts, Nemkov had also defeated a number of former champions, such as Philipe Lins (KO – PFL heavyweight champion), Liam McGeary (TKO – Bellator light-heavyweight champion), Phil Davis twice (SD, UD – Bellator light-heavyweight champion), Rafael Carvalho (rear naked choke – Bellator middleweight champion), and he took the title from Ryan Bader (TKO – Bellator heavyweight & light-heavyweight champion) in August of 2020.
Yoel Romero on the contrary has also defeated a number of former champions, such as Lyoto Machida (TKO – UFC light-heavyweight champion), Jacare Souza (SD – Strikeforce middleweight champion), Chris Weidman (KO – UFC middleweight champion), Luke Rockhold (KO – Strikeforce & UFC middleweight champion), and Melvin Manhoef (KO – Cage Rage light-heavyweight champion, should have been Bellator middleweight champion).
Going into this bout, the champion has gone unbeaten through his last 11 encounters (10-0, 1 NC), while Romero comes in on a two-fight win streak, having secured both victories via knockout.
Romero did recently have a stretch where he went 1-5 in his last six, most recently having lost four-straight prior to his current streak.
But those two defeats to former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, the first was close, and everyone believes he won their second fight. Then a lot of people scored his defeats to fellow former UFC title challenger Paulo Costa, as well as former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for him as well.
Not to mention, his split decision defeat to Phil Davis in his Bellator debut, again, many scored it for him.
Romero could easily be 17-4, 18-3, or 19-2 right now, rather than 15-6.
Who do you see walking away from Bellator 290 as the light-heavyweight champion?
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