PHOENIX – The finals of the Bellator mild heavyweight grand prix is ready and president Scott Coker believes there’s extra than simply crowning the winner of the match on the road.
At Saturday’s Bellator 268, mild heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson punched their tickets to the finals with their semifinal victories.
In the co-main occasion, Anderson (16-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) made fast work of former Bellator champ Ryan Bader (28-6 MMA, 6-1 BMMA), ending the battle through TKO within the first spherical in below a minute. In the principle occasion, Nemkov (14-2 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) overcame some early adversity to placed on a masterful and dominant championship efficiency, resulting in a submission victory of Julius Anglickas (10-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) within the fourth spherical.
It was these performances from fighters on the high of the division that leads Coker to imagine he has the very best on the planet below the Bellator banner.
“When he (Nemkov) got caught, I thought it was over,” Coker informed MMA Junkie and different reporters on the post-fight information convention in regards to the early moments in Nemkov’s battle. “It wasn’t just a little shot. He got caught with a big shot, and I thought, ‘Okay, this fight’s over.’ To his credit, he came back, he fought smart – when he got (Anglickas) cut, I think that’s what turned the tides and he saw the ability to hurt the opponent. When you’re the champ, you step up, and that’s what he did.”
Standing throughout from Nemkov within the grand prix last will likely be Anderson, a former UFC high contender who holds wins over each males competing within the upcoming title battle at UFC 267, champion Jan Blachowicz and challenger Glover Teixeira.
“It was a short fight, he (Bader) got caught, and once he got caught that was it,” Coker stated about Anderson’s fast end over Bader within the co-main occasion. “I think that Corey timed it perfectly. It’s something I hoped we’d get to some more rounds out of the fight, but this is MMA, things happen extremely quick, fast, and explosive. I think that’s why people mixed martial arts, because it is very explosive and that’s what you saw tonight with Corey.”
Since becoming a member of Bellator in 2020, Anderson has now racked up three straight victories, ending every of his opponents. He defeated Melvin Manhoef, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov, and now Bader, all by TKO stoppage.
The champ Nemkov will likely be getting into the grand prix finals on a nine-fight win streak, which incorporates 5 stoppage wins in Bellator. If he wins the upcoming finals bout, he can even safe the third protection of his mild heavyweight title.
When requested if Coker thinks the very best mild heavyweight on the planet will likely be decided within the grand prix last, he merely and confidently replied, “Absolutely.”
“This was a gauntlet of 205ers and whoever wins this tournament, to me, is the best 205er on the planet, period,” Coker continued.
Despite needing a substitute like Anglickas, the match was full of names acquainted to MMA followers akin to Lyoto Machida, Phil Davis, and Anthony Johnson.
The date of the ultimate bout between Anderson and Nemkov has but to be introduced, however the Bellator boss believes the winner is not going to solely stroll the Bellator mild heavyweight champion and grand prix winner, but in addition the very best within the weight class, no matter promotion.