The Bellator MMA cages was in Phoenix, Ariz. on Saturday for Bellator 268 featuring a light heavyweight title bout between champion Vadim Nemkov and Julius Anglickas. Not only was the belt on the line, the match was a semifinal bout in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.
Nemkov and Anglickas wasted little time before exchanging strikes. Nemkov connected with a hard right hand early in the first frame, but was dropped by Anglickas. Another right hand connected for Angliickas that forced Nemkov to change levels and take the fight to the ground.
Once the two got back to their feet, Nemkov was more measured with his exchanges. He landed and got out o the pocket and finished the round strong.
Nemkov used his hand speed and jab to keep Anglickas off balance in the second round. He secured a takedown and softened Anglickas up with punches and elbows. In the closing minute of the frame, Nemkov battered Anglickas with punches and elbows nearly finishing the fight.
Nemkov quickly put Anglickas to the ground in the third round and picked up where he left off at the end of the second. He looked for a submission but Anglickas defended the armbar attempt and gained top position, but only briefly. Nemkov quickly got to his feet and put Anglickas back on the ground. The round ended with Nemkov working to finish an armbar.
Nemkov displayed a clear advantage over Anglickas on the ground and continued to take the fight there. Early in the fourth round, Anglickas found himself on his back. Nemkov moved to side control and trapped an arm. From there he hammered away with punches and elbows. Nemkov worked to finish with a series of submission attempts and a kimura finally ended it.
“He caught me, but I wasn’t knocked down. I just kind of fell. The reason that I went more to grappling is because he has a hard head,” said Nemkov following the win. “I hit him with a few good shots and realized that it’s not going to happen, so I decided to go with submissions.”
Another Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal match took place in the co-main event between current heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Corey Anderson.
Anderson simply overwhelmed Bader on his way to a quick finish. He pressured Bader from the beginning and dropped Bader with a right hand. Anderson followed Bader to the ground looking for the finish. Bader covered and tried to move to avoid shots, but Anderson didn’t let him off the hook. Bader was forced to roll to his stomach and Anderson finished with a series of punches.
“I’ve sparred with him. I knew that the had a good jab. He leans into his jab. He doesn’t step. He leans, so we worked a combo. We had two combos. One was to counter with the overhand and one was with the jab. The overhand landed and the other three punches didn’t have to land, and I knew it was over. He wasn’t getting up,” Anderson said after the win and securing his place in the Grand Prix finals.
Anderson will face champion Vadim Nemkov in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix finals with the Grand Prix and divisional title on the line.
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Bellator 268 Complete Results:
- Vadim Nemkov def. Julius Anglickus by submission (kimura) at 4:25, R4
- Corey Anderson def. Ryan Bader by TKO (punches) at 0:51, R1
- Brent Primus def. Benson Henderson by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Henry Corrales def. Vladyslav Parubchenko by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Karl Albrektsson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mukhamed Berkhamov def. Jaleel Willis by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:05, R1
- Nick Browne def. Bobby Lee by submission (heel hook) at 1:38, R1
- Javier Torres def. Gregory Milliard by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sumiko Inaba def. Randi Field by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:02, R2
- Lance Gibson Jr. def. Raymond Pina by TKO (strikes) at 1:44, R2
- Jaylon Bates def. Raphael Montini by submission (armbar) at 3:49, R1
- Sullivan Cauley def. Deon Clash by TKO (strikes) at 4:59, R1
- Maria Henderson def. Collette Santiago by submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:40, R1