Valentin Moldavsky eyes title contention after “Cautious” win over Roy Nelson at Bellator 244

Valentin Moldavsky avoided Roy Nelson’s right hand at all cost.

The Russin respected “Big Country’s” knockout power and opted to wear down the UFC veteran on his way to his third-straight unanimous-decision win. A win is what Moldavsky was after, so if it meant giving up some excitement, so be it. 

“I was a little more cautious than usual because he has a very unorthodox overhand right and I obviously didn’t want to get caught with it,” Moldavsky said. “I had to sacrifice the excitement of the fight in the lieu of winning it, but I got it done.”

Even though Nelson entered the fight coming off four-straight losses, Moldavsky was well aware of Nelson’s 16 wins by knockout/TKO. Although the Russian landed some clean strikes of his own, he opted to clinch with Nelson to avoid the counter right.

At 10-1 Moldavsky is yet to be finished by his opponents, but he wasn’t going to let Nelson be the first to put him away. 

“I felt like I could have done more in standup and I would interrupt my own sequences because a lot of time Roy will cover up and take punches and throws that one punch,” Moldavsky said. “In the heavyweight division, that lucky punch could end it. So I would unload with my hands and then we clinch him to kind of break that sequence so he doesn’t time me and hit me.”

In the main event, Moldavsky’s teammate Vadim Nemkov defeated champ-champ Ryan Bader via second-round TKO to obtain the light-heavyweight strap. Bellator President Scott Coker told the media he speculated Bader will want to defend the belt next.

Valentin Moldavsky told media during the post-fight scrum he prefers a fight with Bader next, but is open to bouts with Cheick Kongo or Tim Johnson. 

“That’s something that we will sit down and map that out,” Coker said. “For me, we still have Minakov in the mix, [Vitaly] Moldavsky is in the mix, Johnson is in the mix, we’re going to start fighting these guys often and then we’ll have the winner come fight Ryan. To me, a lot of it will depend on one, if Bader wants to defend his heavyweight belt and the timing of when he can do it and how we’re going to put the other fights together.”

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.