Ryan Bader to defend light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 244

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Two-division champion Ryan Bader will return to 205 pounds to defend his light heavyweight title against top contender Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 244 on Aug. 21.

Multiple sources confirmed the fight to MMA Fighting on Wednesday with bout agreements issued to both athletes. The matchup was initially reported by Sports.ru.

Bader hasn’t competed at light heavyweight since 2017 when he defended his Bellator title against Linton Vassell. Since that time, Bader has been focused on the heavyweight division where he won the Bellator Grand Prix to become champion with a first round knockout over Fedor Emelianenko

Now he will move back to 205 pounds to face off with Nemkov, who has won six fights in a row overall including a perfect 4-0 record in Bellator.

The Russian has earned impressive victories over Phil Davis and Rafael Carvalho in his most recent fights and now he will attempt to win Bellator gold for the first time in August.

Bader and Nemkov were originally scheduled to meet back in May but the coronavirus pandemic ultimately delayed the fight. Three months later, they will finally clash at Bellator 244 with the card taking place from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

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