It was a clean sweep for Russian’s in championship fights this past weekend. As a result, the country found a way to celebrate.
At Bellator 244, Ryan Bader defended his Bellator Light Heavyweight Title for the first time in three years against Vadim Nemkov. The 28-year-old Nemkov (12-2), who has beaten fighters like Phis Davis, Rafael Carvalho, and Liam McGeary, needed two rounds to take out Bader. With a high leg kick and multiple shots to the face, Nemkov was able to become the first Russian Light Heavyweight Champion for Bellator.
The former Sambo world champion returned to Russia and earned a heroes welcome.
The next day, Alexander Povetkin shocked the world in the “Matchroom Fight Camp” finale. The 40-year-old knocked out interim WBC Heavyweight Champion Dillian Whyte to win the title. Knocked down twice in the fourth round, Povetkin was able to land a two-punch combination to drop Whyte to the canvas. It was Povetkin’s (36-2-1) 25th win via some form of knockout.
While he won’t be rewarded with an immediate WBC Heavyweight Title shot, he was rewarded in other ways. Coming back to Russia, he was greeted with music, fans, and a uniform fit for a champion.
Hero's welcome on arrival in Russia for Alexander Povetkin following his KO win over Dillian Whyte pic.twitter.com/rijNFHvZLy
— BoxingSquared (@Boxing_Squared) August 23, 2020