Bellator Grand Prix Winner Will Be Best Light Heavyweight ‘On the Planet’
The Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix is reduced to two after Vadim Nemkov and Cory Anderson advanced to the tournament finals on Saturday night.
Even with the untimely exits of names like Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson, the parenthesis was full of recognizable names and the Bellator 268 featured three light heavyweights ranked in the Top 10 of the Sherdog.com poll at 205 pounds. Anderson holds major victories against Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeiera, who will compete for the UFC light heavyweight crown on October 30.
Bellator president Scott Coker believes winner Nemkov-Anderson can legally claim the title of best light heavyweight in the sport, regardless of promotion.
“This was a 205-year-old glove and whoever wins this tournament, to me, is the best 205-year-old on the planet. That’s how I feel, “Coker told a news conference after Saturday’s game.
Nemkov faced a fear in the first round before moving on from the Julius Anglickas alternate tournament at the Bellator 268 main event. pound and a variety of submission efforts.
“When he was caught, I thought it was over,” Coker said of Nemkov. “It simply came to our notice then. He was caught with a big shot and I thought, “Okay, this fight is over.” In his honor, he returned, fought smart – when [Anglickas] cut, I think that was what changed the tide and saw the ability to hurt the opponent. “When you are a champion, you go up and that’s what he did.”
Meanwhile, Anderson did a brief job with former champion Ryan Bander at the co-main event. “Overtime” threw his enemy with an overrun just behind the ear and then whistled with the ground-and-pound until the fight stopped just 51 seconds after it started.
“It was a short fight, that (it was caught and it was just caught,” Coker said of Bader. “Things happen extremely fast, fast and explosive. I think that’s why people mixed up martial arts, because it’s very explosive and that’s what you saw tonight with Corey.”
If all goes well, Nemkov and Anderson will lock the horns early next year.
“The finals we have now is really a race I thought, ‘That could be the final. “I’m going to let them heal for about a month,” Coker said. “I think Nemkov needs some rest and we will continue.”