It’s good to be the king.
Newly crowned Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov returned to his native Russia after claiming the title from Ryan Bader in devastating fashion last Friday at Bellator 244 and he was met with a warm reception as soon as he stepped out of the airport.
Nemkov, 28, not only ended Bader’s run atop Bellator’s 205-pound division, he handed “Darth” his first defeat in over four and a half years. The Fedor Emelianenko protege is unbeaten in five appearances for Bellator, and now holds wins over Bader, former middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho, and former light heavyweight champions Phil Davis and Liam McGeary.
In the eyes of Bellator President Scott Coker, Nemkov now reigns as the No. 1 light heavyweight across all of MMA with the UFC’s title recently being vacated by Jon Jones. While UFC President Dana White may disagree (he dismissed the suggestion as “cute”), there’s no arguing that Nemkov is certainly viewed as the best of the best in his home country.