Reigning light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov has his sights set on a new career within Bellator MMA. Nemkov plans to move to heavyweight, and could do so as soon as he vacates the title he currently holds.
Vadim Nemkov Likely To Vacate Title, Move To Bellator’s Heavyweight Division
For reigning Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov, the cut to get down to 205 pounds continues to grow tougher and tougher by the year.
That is why the veteran is looking to make the move to the heavyweight division.
Nemkov, who is 17-2 overall and a perfect 9-0 in Bellator, has held the title since defeating Ryan Bader back in 2020. Ironically enough, Bader is still the heavyweight champion and will defend his title later this year vs. Linton Vassell at Bellator 300.
The 31-year-old is trained by Fedor Emelianenko, who was one of the more dominant heavyweight fighters in mixed martial arts history.
“I spoke to Fedor when everything was happening that last couple of fights,” Nemkov said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “I’m getting older and every fight is getting harder for me to cut weight.
“Let’s say that before I felt comfortable when I was training (at 227 pounds). Now, I feel more comfortable at (233-238 pounds). When I train right now, I feel less strong and dangerous.
“It’s a challenge for me. I’ve done everything I can at light heavyweight. Now, it’s a new challenge to go up in weight and get another title.”
Along the way, Nemkov has four title defenses, claiming the grand prix last year with a decision win over Corey Anderson. He bested Yoel Romero earlier this year by decision in Chicago.
Those who have fallen at his feet include Romero, Anderson, Phil Davis, Liam McGeary and Rafael Carvalho.
Nemkov’s last defeat was in 2016 by split decision to Karl Albrektsson. His other loss came to former UFC champion Jiri Prochazka in the 2015 Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals.
“At 205, I don’t see anything new for me,” he said. “It’s going to be rematches with the fighters I already fought. I’d keep going back to the fighters I already met. Probably, I will vacate and move to the heavyweight division.”
Vadim Nemkov: Journey Of A Champion