Bellator 268: Nemkov vs. Anglickas Preview

Vadim Nemkov throws a left jab at Phil Davis, who has his left leg up.
Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov will face Julius Anglickas in the main event (Bellator MMA / Lucas Noonan)

The Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix will continue on Saturday night when the promotion holds an event from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

In the main event, tournament alternate Julius Anglickas will have a tough challenge when facing current Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov. The co-main event will see former champ Ryan Bader attempt to continue his climb towards a second title reign when facing former UFC fighter Corey Anderson.

Here’s a full preview of the evening.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (Youtube)

Bout 1: Maria Henderson (1-0) vs. Collette Santiago (0-2) (Flyweight Amateur)

In a rare amateur fight on a Bellator card, Maria Henderson will meet Collette Santiago in the first bout of the show.

Henderson won her amateur debut earlier this year, going three rounds against Amanda Mitchell for a decision win at LFA 100. Her husband, Benson Henderson, will be competing later in the evening on the main card.

Santiago has yet to win in MMA, with her two previous amateur losses coming via stoppage.

Bout 2: Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1) vs. Jaleel Willis (15-2) (Welterweight)

Welterweight prospect Mukhamed Berkhamov will make his Bellator debut on the prelims when fighting Jaleel Willis.

Berkhamov has gone undefeated since 2013 and has a pro record through 15 fights that only has one blemish. His appearance this weekend will be ending an absence from competition that lasted over two years.

Willis has earned two wins since joining Bellator last year. After opening his promotional run with a decision win against Mark Lemminger in November, Willis returned in May to defeat former LFA Champion Maycon Mendonca.

Bout 3: Jaylon Bates (3-0) vs. Raphael Montini (6-4) (Bantamweight)

Homegrown Bellator talent Jaylon Bates will look to wrap up his rookie year as a pro with a fourth win when facing Raphael Montini.

Bates’ three-fight pro career has been in the Bellator cage. After going the distance against Joe Supino in his pro debut last year, Bates has submitted Jeffrey Glossner and Cody Matthews this year.

Montini is on a two-fight losing streak, with his last win being in 2019.

Bout 4: Lance Gibson Jr. (4-0) vs. Raymon Pina (9-4) (Lightweight)

Undefeated prospect Lance Gibson Jr. will look for his third Bellator win when meeting Raymon Pina in the Bellator cage.

Gibson Jr. had a successful return to the cage in April, going three rounds for a decision win over Marcus Surin. His previous Bellator victory came against Dominic Jones in 2019.

Pina will be appearing under the Bellator title for the first time in years. His last fight for the promotion was in 2014 when he lost to LaRue Burley. While he hasn’t competed in two years, Pina’s last victory was a submission in 2019 against Michael Robertson.

Bout 5: Sumiko Inaba (2-0) vs. Randi Field (2-0) (Flyweight)

In a battle between two fighters with flawless MMA records, Sumiko Inaba and Randi Field will clash on Friday.

Like the previously mentioned Jaylon Bates, Inaba has spent her rookie year in Bellator. She made her debut in November, needing just a round to stop Jessica Ruiz with strikes. Her last victory was in May, finishing Kristina Katsikis in the third round with punches.

Field’s two pro wins came from 2019, where she won in regional Canadian promotion PFC.

Bout 6: Javier Torres (11-5) vs. Gregory Milliard (12-6) (Middleweight)

Both competing for their first Bellator win, middleweights Javier Torres and Gregory Milliard will fight on Saturday’s undercard.

Milliard lost his Bellator debut in April, getting defeated via unanimous decision by Julius Anglickas. He had four consecutive wins before then.

Torres’ two Bellator appearances were in 2018. He has since bounced back with a 2019 victory over Joel Champion on a Combate Global (formerly known as Combate Americas) card.

Bout 7: Bobby Lee (12-6) vs. Nick Browne (11-1) (Lightweight)

Former LFA Lightweight Champion Nick Browne will make his Bellator debut when facing Bobby Lee.

Browne captured LFA’s vacant lightweight belt early this year, going five rounds against Arthur Estrazulas for a unanimous decision victory. The victory was his third win in the notable regional promotion.

Lee, a former champ in CFFC, has struggled to find success since joining Bellator last year. He has gone the distance in both of his prior Bellator bouts, losing to Joey Davis and Soren Bak.

Lee missed weight on Friday, coming in just nearly a pound over the limit.

Bout 8: Sullivan Cauley (1-0) vs. Deon Clash (1-0) (Light Heavyweights)

In a battle between two light heavyweights early in their pro careers, Sullivan Cauley and Deon Clash will battle on Saturday’s prelims.

Cauley had his first pro bout under the Bellator banner last year, putting away Jason Markland in just 28 seconds with strikes.

Clash’s sole win comes from a little further back, defeating Jose Galaviz in 2019.

Bout 9: Karl Albrektsson (12-3) vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1) (Light Heavyweight)

The prelims will conclude with a fight between Karl Albrektsson and Dovletdzhan Yaghsimuradov.

Yagshimuradov made his Bellator debut in the opening round of their light heavyweight grand prix earlier this year, getting stopped in the third round by Corey Anderson. Before then, he had been on a strong eight-fight streak of wins from 2016 to 2019.

Albrektsson picked up his first Bellator win in April, defeating Viktor Nemkov. The victory put him back into the win column with Bellator after losing to Phil Davis in 2019.

Albrektsson has kept busy when not fighting for Bellator, also fighting in Swedish promotion Superior Challenge twice over the past year.

Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 7:00PM PDT) (Showtime)

Bout 10: Henry Corrales (18-6) vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko (16-2) (Featherweight)

Bellator veteran Henry Corrales will challenge Vladyslav Parubchenko in the opening bout of the main card.

Corrales has been on the Bellator roster since 2015. He currently has an even record of six wins and six losses in the promotion, with three of his last five bouts being a defeat. While he has lost more often than not in recent years, the fights have come against some of the top in the division like Darrion Caldwell and Juan Archuleta.

Corrales’ last fight was a massive upset, as Johnny Campbell scored a second-round submission win over him.

Parubchenko will be looking for his first Bellator win. He joined the promotion last year with an impressive pro record of 16 wins and just one loss. He dropped his promotional debut in August 2020, going three rounds against John de Jesus for a unanimous decision result.

Bout 11: Benson Henderson (28-10) vs. Brent Primus (10-2) (Lightweight)

Notable Bellator fighters Benson Henderson and Brent Primus will look to return to their winning ways when fighting on Saturday.

Henderson has been absent from the win column since 2019, with his last two appearances being losses. After being stopped by now-UFC fighter Michael Chandler in August 2020, Henderson lost a decision later that year to Jason Jackson.

The fight on Saturday will be the UFC and Bellator veteran’s first appearance of 2021.

Primus lost in his return to the cage just three months back, losing a split decision to Islam Mamedov at Bellator 263. His two prior appearances were first-round submission wins.

Bout 12: Ryan Bader (28-6) vs. Corey Anderson (15-5) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Final)

In the first of two grand prix bouts on Saturday’s card, former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader will meet Corey Anderson.

Bader is currently on a quest to re-gain Bellator’s 205-pound belt. He lost the title last year to Vadim Nemkov, who finished him in the second round with strikes.

Bader’s campaign towards a second reign had a good start in April, as he scored a unanimous decision win over Lyoto Machida in the quarter-final round of the tournament.

Anderson, a former UFC fighter, scored a stoppage win in the first round of the bracket, defeating Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov.

Bout 13: Vadim Nemkov (14-2) vs. Julius Anglickas (10-1) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship)

Julius Anglickas could pull off a massive upset on Saturday, facing Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov in the semi-final bout of the promotion’s ongoing grand prix.

Anglickas was announced earlier this year as an alternate for the tournament. He actually made his way into the bracket recently after Anthony Johnson withdrew from his bout against Nemkov.

Anglickas has put together a strong three-fight winning streak since signing with Bellator in 2019. Along with a recent victory over Gregory Milliard, Anglickas has been the first to hand Alex Polizzi and Jordan Young a loss.

Nemkov will be attempting to defend his belt for the second time. He came in as champ for the first time in April, going five rounds against Phil Davis for a unanimous decision win in the opening round of the tournament. The win was Nemkov’s sixth straight win since joining Bellator in 2017.

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