Full Card Released For Bellator 244: Ryan Bader Vs. Vadim Nemkov
The first Bellator Light Heavyweight Title defense in two+ years for Ryan Bader will have several big matchups behind it.
Bellator 244 will officially take place inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on August 21. The main event will be Bader defending his light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov.
Bader (27-5, 1 NC) joined Bellator in 2017 following a 15-5 record in the UFC. The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner won the Bellator Light Heavyweight Title in his Bellator debut in 2017, beating Phil Davis at Bellator 180. He defended the title a few months later against Linton Vassell, beating him via TKO. Following that win, Bader moved up to heavyweight and competed in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. He beat Muhammed Lawal, Matt Mitrione, and Fedor Emelianenko to win the tournament and the vacant Bellator Heavyweight Title.
Bader’s last fight was a no-contest bout against Cheick Kongo for the heavyweight title in September. He was supposed to fight Nemkov on May 9. The event was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nemkov (11-2) is currently on a six-fight win streak. The four-time Sambo World Champion made his Bellator debut in 2017, beating Philipe Lins via knockout. He would later beat Liam McGeary, Phil Davis, and Rafael Carvalho, the last bout coming back in October.
The co-main event will see Julia Budd return to action to face Jessy Miele. Budd (13-3), the first and former Bellator Featherweight Champion, made her pro debut in 2010 after a kickboxing career. Following a stint in Strikeforce and Invicta, Budd joined Bellator in 2015. She beat Marloes Coenen in 2017 to become the champion and defended the belt three times. Budd’s last fight was a TKO-loss at the hands of Cris Cyborg at Bellator 238 in January, ending her title reign and 11-fight win streak.
Miele (9-3) made her pro debut in 2014. She made her Bellator debut in October, beating Talita Nogueira via split decision at Bellator 231.
Rounding out the main card (for now), Roy Nelson returns against Valentin Moldavsky. Nelson (23-18) is 1-4 with Bellator after a run with the UFC. A heavyweight tournament winner during The Ultimate Fighter, Nelson lost his last bout against Frank Mir at Bellator 231 in October. Moldavsky (9-1) is on a four-fight win streak. The 28-year-old last fought in February, beating Javy Ayala at Bellator 239.
Here is the full card (for now) for Bellator 244:
Main Card (Paramount Network/DAZN, 10 p.m. ET)
Ryan Bader (c) v. Vadim Nemkov – Light Heavyweight Title Bout
Julia Budd v. Jessy Miele
Roy Nelson v. Valentin Moldavsky
Prelims (Bellator YouTube Channel)
John Salter v. Andrew Kapel
Adam Piccolotti v. Sidney Outlaw
Erik Perez v. Joshua Hill
Lucas Brennan v. Will Smith
Vladimir Tokov v. Chris Gonzalez
Lance Gibson Jr. v. Shane Kruchten