Vadim Nemkov defends Bellator light heavyweight title

Vadim Nemkov defends Bellator light heavyweight title

Vadim Nemkov has clearly established himself as the man to beat in Bellator's light heavyweight tournament, following Friday night's convincing title defense over Phil Davis, ESPN reports.

Nemkov (14-3) is already Bellator's 205-pound champion, but with bigger names in the promotion's tournament, including Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Yoel Romero and Ryan Bader, it would be easy to overlook him. The 28-year-old Russian reminded the rest of the field of his talents on Friday, however, in a five-round decision over Davis.

All three judges scored the championship bout, which headlined Bellator 257 inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, for Nemkov 48-47. The victory marks Nemkov's first defense of the light heavyweight title he won from Bader last August and advances him to the tournament semifinals, where he'll meet Johnson or Romero.

"My plan was to outstrike him and defend his wrestling," Nemkov said via an interpreter. "I am pretty happy with my performance but I had mistakes. I'll work on them for next time."

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