Bellator Champ Vadim Nemkov VS. Anthony Johnson, Ryan Bader VS. Corey Anderson Set For Showdowns On October 16
Bellator MMA is coming in with a loaded fight card this fall for the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.
Reigning champion Vadim Nemkov is looking to defend his title against power puncher Anthony “Rumble” Johnson while current heavyweight champ Ryan “Darth” Bader faces Corey “Overtime” Anderson, who is coming off two dominant victories, at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on October 16.
Nemkov (14-2) is coming off a stunning win streak — a win against Johnson could cement his status as the best light heavyweight fighter on the planet. He notched the title by defeating Bader with a second-round TKO last August and secured it against Phil Davis via unanimous decision after five hard rounds in April.
Nemkov is 6-0 in Bellator competition including three knockouts and a submission. He is currently the No. 5 light heavyweight in MMA Fight’s Global Rankings.
Johnson (23-6) returned after a four-year hiatus and made his Bellator MMA debut in May for the opening round of the grand prix. He bested Jose Augusto in a back-and-forth affair, ending the match with his signature “Rumble” knockout in the second round.
With Johnson’s previous wins over Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafsson and Phil Davis under his belt, he remains an imposing force in the sport. Johnson ranks No. 15 light heavyweight in the MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings.
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For Bader (28-6), he bounced back from his defeat against Nemkov and grinded out a victory via unanimous decision over veteran Lyoto Machida — avenging his loss in 2012. Bader, a former two-division champion in Bellator, still claims the heavyweight championship after losing his light heavyweight title to Nemkov. He ranks No. 7 light heavyweight in MMA’s Fighting’s Global Rankings.
Anderson (15-5) debuted with Bellator in November 2020 and has since gone 2-0 with TKO victories over former AVA champion Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov and veteran Melvin Manhoef.
The winners of the two bouts will meet for the light heavyweight title and earn a $1 million prize for winning the tournament.
Bellator MMA: Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Semifinals will be televised live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The preliminary fights will stream live on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel, SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Pluto TV beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Additional bouts and ticket information will be announced at a later date.