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Ryan Bader Finalizing Deal to Defend Light Heavyweight Title at Bellator 244

According to a report by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Bellator Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader (27-5) will defend his light heavyweight belt on August 21st at Bellator 244 against Vadim Nemkov (11-2), at the Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

This is the first time in nearly three years that Bader will defend his light heavyweight belt, which he won from Phil Davis via split decision at Bellator 180 in 2017. In his last outing, Bader retained his heavyweight crown after an accidental eye poke by Cheick Kongo led to an NC. Bader won the heavyweight strap in the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix, knocking out Fedor Emelianenko in the finals.


Nemkov, a 4-time Combat Sambo World Champion, happens to be the protege of, Emelianenko according to Wikipedia, and is undefeated in his Bellator career, including a victory over Davis as well.

According to the article on ESPN, Bader wants to remain in the light heavyweight division after this fight. Bader is looking down the road at a rematch against Lyoto Machida, who defeated Bader by TKO when they fought for the UFC. Looking past Nemkov is a big mistake, in my humble opinion.

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