Vadim Nemkov, Bellator's light heavyweight champion, recently described his experience whilst grappling with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
Both fighters grew up in the strong Soviet wrestling culture and have won the World Combat Sambo Championship. Nemkov is currently 10-0-1 in his last 11 fights and has been able to dominate his opposition with relative ease.
But according to Vadim Nemkov, his training sessions with Islam Makhachev roughly five years ago were a shock to the system. Despite weighing around 50lbs more than Makhachev, Nemkov was shocked by his compatriot's control.
In a recent interview with Red Corner MMA, Nemkov stated:
"He's really tight on you when it comes to wrestling. I'm used to letting smaller guys work on offensive positions. Let them work their top control, from top position. When I let him work from the top position, he crushed me like a concrete slab. I was flabbergasted by his control."
Watch the interview below:
Sambo-based fighters seem to be dominating in MMA. Vadim Nemkov, Usman Nurmagomedov and Yaroslav Amosov are all flying the Sambo flag high as champions in Bellator. Meanwhile, Islam Makhachev appears to have reignited the dominance displayed by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC.
Vadim Nemkov on the quick turnaround for his upcoming fight with Yoel Romero
Vadim Nemkov defeated Corey Anderson at Bellator 288 to claim the Bellator light heavyweight title. Nemkov won the fight via decision and will face Yoel Romero in his next fight.
The bout will take place at Bellator 290, as the co-main event for the headlining heavyweight title fight between Ryan Bader and Fedor Emelianenko. Nemkov vs. Romero will take place on February 4, giving the reigning light heavyweight champion very little time to rest.
According to the Russian, he didn't know the upcoming fight with Romero would happen so quickly. Nemkov spoke to the media following his victory over Anderson and said this about his fight at Bellator 290:
"I honestly didn't know that I'd get another fight this fast. When I get home I'll start watching his fights and start getting ready for him. First I'll rest a little and spend some time with family... After I spend some time with them I'll start preparing for my next fight."
Watch the press conference below from 1:40: