The Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix will roll on this evening, as the promotion’s semi-final bouts will take place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. In the main event of Bellator 268, tournament alternate Julius Anglickas will take on 205-pound champ Vadim Nemkov, with the winner walking away as champion and a finalist in the bracket.
The co-main event will see previous champ Ryan Bader face former UFC fighter Corey Anderson in a grand prix bout.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates.
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (Youtube)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 7:00PM PDT) (Showtime)
Bout 13: Vadim Nemkov (14-2) vs. Julius Anglickas (10-1) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship)
Light Heavyweight Champion Nemkov Submits Tournament Alternate Anglickas
Vadim Nemkov made it to the grand finals of the Bellator’s 205-pound grand prix on Saturday, defeating tournament alternate Julius Anglickas in the main event. The Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion put an end to his highly dominant performance in the fourth round, submitting Anglickas with a kimura.
Nemkov controlled Anglickas throughout the fight using ground and pound striking and submission attempts.
Nemkov did damage in the second round, getting Anglickas down and unloading with ground and pound for numerous minutes. Damage from these shots showed clearly on Anglickas, who had bruising and was bleeding in the later rounds. Nemkov looked for submissions in the third and fourth rounds, eventually closing the show with the kimura.
Anglickas got his best shot in early, knocking Nemkov down with a right cross punch in the opening round. Nemkov recovered from this moment well, scoring a takedown and landing shots on the ground later in the frame.
Anglickas was put in the tournament after former UFC title challenger Anthony Johnson had to withdraw from the bracket. He joined the tournament after scoring three wins in Bellator from 2019 to 2021.
Nemkov has now defended his belt twice since earning it off Ryan Bader last year. His first title fight was in the first round of the bracket, where he defeated Phil Davis in April.
Bout 12: Ryan Bader (28-6) vs. Corey Anderson (15-5) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final)
Anderson Stops Former Light Heavyweight Champ Bader In First Minute, Secures GP Final Spot
Corey Anderson had a quick win in the co-main event, stopping former 205-pound champ Ryan Bader within a minute to advance into the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals.
Anderson dropped Bader early in the first round with an overhand right. He was quick to pounce with more shots on the ground, landing punches from half guard and the back that forced the referee to eventually end the bout.
Anderson had a stoppage win in the first round of the tournament as well, defeating Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov earlier this year. The fight on Saturday was Anderson’s third win since making the move from UFC to Bellator.
Bader’s tournament run was an attempt to regain the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship. He lost his belt in 2020, getting stopped by current champ Vadim Nemkov.
Bader kicked off his tournament run earlier this year with a decision victory over Lyoto Machida.
Bout 11: Benson Henderson (28-10) vs. Brent Primus (10-2) (Lightweight)
Primus Gets Decision Win Over Veteran Henderson
Brent Primus picked up a big win in Bellator’s lightweight division on Saturday, defeating veteran Benson Henderson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).
Primus attempted numerous submissions during the fight. He attempted a kimura in the first round, and spent portions of the second and third rounds mounting the back of Henderson for rear naked choke attempts. The lightweight bout had close striking exchanges that saw both fighters land.
Primus is now back in the win column after losing to Islam Mamedov in July.
Henderson has lost three consecutive fights, although they have come against some of the top lightweights like Michael Chandler and Jason Jackson.
Bout 10: Henry Corrales (18-6) vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko (16-2) (Featherweight)
Bellator Veteran Corrales Picks Up Decision Win Against Parubchenko
Bellator veteran Henry Corrales put together three solid rounds of striking to defeat Vladyslav Parubchenko in the opening bout of the main card. Corrales took a unanimous decision win for his fight, taking all three rounds (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Corrales landed the better shots throughout his three-round fight against Parubchenko. He scored a knockdown in the final round of the fight, landing a left hook that sat Parubchenko down.
Corrales is now back into the win column after being on the losing side of an upset against Johnny Campbell in May.
While Parubchenko has only lost three times through 19 pro fights, two of those bouts have come in Bellator. His promotional debut was last year, losing on scorecards to John de Jesus.
Bout 9: Karl Albrektsson (12-3) vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1) (Light Heavyweight)
Albrektsson Gets Close Decision Win Over Yagshimiuradov For Second Bellator Victory
Karl Albrektsson had a hard-fought win on the prelims, defeating Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via unanimous decision after three rounds at light heavyweight (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
The close battle saw Albrektsson have a good start, with Yagshimuradov closing the fight out strong and making it a close result on scorecards.
The first round was mostly a battle at stand-up range or in clinch positions on the feet.
Albrektsson hurt Yagshimuradov early in the second round, dropping him with a right hook. Albrektsson was able to follow-up with many ground and pound shots on the ground, but Yagshimuradov worked out of the position and stayed in the fight.
Yagshimuradov pulled guard later in the second round with a guillotine choke attempt after landing a flying knee. Albrektsson was able to escape the choke and take full mount later in the round.
The final round was a close one that saw both fighters have their moments. Yagshimuradov landed his best shots of the fight in this round, unloading at times against a tired Albrektsson. Yaghshimuradov often looked to wrestle in the round, but it was Albrektsson who took numerous minutes of control time in the frame.
Albrektsson earned his first Bellator win earlier this year, defeating Viktor Nemkov in April.
Yagshimuradov lost his promotional debut in the first round of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, getting stopped by former UFC fighter Corey Anderson in April.
Bout 8: Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1) vs. Jaleel Willis (15-2) (Welterweight)
Berkhamov Wins Bellator Debut, Ends Winning Streak of Willis
Mukhamed Berkhamov won his Bellator debut on Saturday, closing a wrestling-heavy one-round performance over Jaleel Willis with a guillotine choke submission.
Berkahmov joined the promotion after putting together an impressive pro record through 15 fights. Like many others on this card, Berkhamov was competing for the first time since 2019.
The fight ended a long winning streak for Willis that included two previous appearances in Bellator. His previous fight was in May, where he defeated former LFA Welterweight Champion Maycon Mendonca.
Bout 8: Bobby Lee (12-6) vs. Nick Browne (11-1) (Lightweight)
Former LFA Champ Browne Gets First-Round Submission In Bellator Debut
Former LFA Lightweight Champion Nick Browne had a successful Bellator debut on Saturday, submitting Bobby Lee in the first round with a rare heel hook.
The finishing sequence started on the feet when Browne hurt Lee early in the first round with a right cross. This caused Lee to take the fight to the ground, scoring a takedown and taking a dominant position on the ground.
Browne made the best of his position on the ground, getting a hold of a leg and applying a heel hook for the submission.
Browne was making his first appearance since claiming LFA’s 155-pound belt early this year, going five rounds against Arthur Estrazulas in January.
Bout 6: Javier Torres (11-5) vs. Gregory Milliard (12-6) (Middleweight)
Torres Ends MMA Career With Decision Win
Javier Torres wrapped up his MMA career on a high note, defeating Gregory Milliard via split decision on Saturday’s prelims (29-28 Milliard, 29-28 Torres & 29-28 Torres).
The close fight largely took place in clinch positions up against the cage, with Milliard often being the fighter with his back to the fencing.
Torres left his MMA gloves in the cage following the result, implying the end of his career in the sport.
Torres was making his return to the promotion on Saturday. He had appeared in the promotion twice before, losing in both instances.
Milliard made his Bellator debut earlier this year, going three rounds against Julius Anglickas and being on the losing side of a unanimous decision result.
Bout 5: Sumiko Inaba (2-0) vs. Randi Field (2-0) (Flyweight)
Inaba Secures First Pro Submission Win, Earns Third Victory
Sumiko Inaba showed both striking and grappling in her quick win on Saturday, defeating Bellator newcomer Randi Field.
Inaba finished the bout early in the second round with an arm triangle choke, submitting Field shortly after scoring a takedown.
Inaba controlled the fight in the first round as well, out-landing Field in stand-up situations. She even had Field in trouble at times, dropping her with a right hook late in the round.
Inaba’s rookie year as a pro will come to a close with three Bellator wins. Her two other pro wins came via stoppage due to strikes.
Field was returning after being inactive since 2019. Her first two pro wins happened in regional Canadian promotion PFC.
Bout 4: Lance Gibson Jr. (4-0) vs. Raymond Pina (9-4) (Lightweight)
Gibson Jr. Remains Undefeated, Stops Pina With Ground and Pound
Lance Gibson Jr. moved his undefeated record to five consecutive on Saturday, using explosive striking to stop Raymond Pina in the second round with strikes.
Gibson Jr. first hurt Pina early in the second round with a well-timed knee to the head for a knockdown. Gibson Jr.’s dominant ground and pound finished the fight shortly after, trapping the arms of Pina while unloading shots from the back position. The referee stopped the bout after enough shots went unanswered.
Pina got ahead in the fight before the stoppage, using numerous minutes of ground control to take the first round of action.
Gibson Jr. has picked up three wins since joining Bellator. He went the distance in his earlier fight this year, defeating Marcus Surin in April.
Pina was making his return to Bellator, as he had also appeared on a card for the promotion in 2014. He was coming back after not competing earlier in 2021 or 2020.
Bout 3: Jaylon Bates (3-0) vs. Raphael Montini (6-4) (Bantamweight)
Bates Ends Rookie Pro Year With Fourth Win
The grappling skills of Jaylon Bates were on display yet again Saturday, as he secured a first-round armbar submission against Raphael Montini.
Bates smothered Montini on the ground for most of the opening round, taking his back for minutes and attempting a rear naked choke. Bates eventually found a finish with the armbar, extending the arm of Montini for a tap.
Bates’ rookie year as a pro is coming to a close with four wins in the Bellator cage. Of those wins, three have come via submission.
Montini was making his Bellator debut. He is now on a three-fight losing streak.
Bout 2: Sullivan Cauley (1-0) vs. Deon Clash (1-0) (Light Heavyweights)
Cauley Finishes Clash In Second-Last Moment of Opening Round
Sullivan Cauley just barely beat the bell for a first-round stoppage win against Dean Clash on the prelims. Cauley hurt Clash late in the first round a right cross that visibly rocked him. After following up with more shots on the feet, the referee stepped in and stopped the bout in the final seconds of the frame.
Cauley now has two stoppage wins since turning pro. His prior win was in November 2020, when he stopped Jason Markland on a Bellator card in just 28 seconds.
Clash was also coming off a pro debut win, although that fight dated back to 2019.
Bout 1: Maria Henderson (1-0) vs. Collette Santiago (0-2) (Flyweight Amateur)
Henderson Scores Second Amateur Win, First Bellator Victory
Maria Henderson got her second amateur win in less than a minute to kick off the prelims. She scored a first-minute submission win over Collette Santiago, finishing her with a rear naked choke.
Henderson got the fight to the ground almost immediately. She got the back of Santiago for the choke, getting her arm under the chin before a tap came in.
Henderson, the wife of UFC and Bellator veteran Benson Henderson, won her amateur debut via decision earlier this year on an LFA card.
Santiago has now lost all three of her amateur appearances.