There's a lot of upheaval at light heavyweight across the MMA world right now. First, the news came that Jon Jones would be leaving the UFC division that he dominated over a dozen years. Now, for the first time in three years, Bellator has a new champion at 205 as well. Vadim Nemkov has now been crowned the new Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion at Bellator 244.
Ryan Bader had rolled through seven straight wins in becoming a Bellator double champ. But as every other fighter has found out, that takes a little out of you. In MMA, even a fraction of an inch of a distraction can cost you one of your belts.
The last time "Darth" lost he was still in the UFC, losing to Anthony Johnson at UFC on Fox 18. At his heels, this time, was the young hungry protege of the man he beat to become heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko.
During fight week though, Vadim Nemkov said multiple times, this was not a "revenge" match. Instead, it was all about him wanting to win gold to bring home to his two young daughters. And if it makes Fedor smile, that would just be a bonus.
Vadim Nemkov wins the Bellator Light Heavyweight title
Vadim Nemkov, the man who's known for an array of deadly kicks, used a right head kick to drop Bader in the second round. From there he went down to the mat landing ground and pound, just raining a flurry of rights on the fallen champion. Ryan did what he could to survive, fighting the 28-year-old's hands.
After two times of trying he eventually got up, and tried to escape. However, Vadim Nemkov was still on him. And then it was finally a left hand with Ryan Bader trying to circle away along the fence that dropped him again.
This time referee Kerry Hatley jumped in to stop the action at 3:02 of the second round. Out of his dozen wins now, he has 11 stoppages with 9 KOs and Vadim Nemkov is on a seven-fight win streak.
Ryan Bader still has his hands full controlling the heavyweight division. After Jon Jones left the 205 division, the talk was he was the best in any organization at that division. Well, this starts a new age for Bellator. And it comes on the heels of them bringing in Corey Anderson.
So the former UFC fighter, who is hungry for a title shot, may get his chance sooner than later now.