Bellator 268 results, highlights: Vadim Nemkov retains title with submission of Julius Anglickas
The light heavyweight champion survived an early scare before putting it on his challenger in Phoenix
The Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament offers no advantages for the defending champion. Luckily for Vadim Nemkov, he didn't need any on Saturday.
Nemkov (15-2) survived being dropped in the opening round and went on to dominate the rest of the way in a thorough fourth-round submission of tournament alternate Julius Anglickas (10-2) in the main event of Bellator 268 inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Anglickas filled in for former UFC title challenger Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, who withdrew from the tournament last month due to an undisclosed illness.
A native of Russia, Nemkov made the second defense of the 205-pound title he won by stopping Ryan Bader in 2020. Nemkov advanced to the tournament final in early 2022 and will face Corey Anderson, who needed just 51 seconds to stop Bader in their semifinal bout.
Anglickas, a 30-year-old native of Lithuania, landed a perfect counter right hand in Round 1 to briefly drop the champion to a knee. But Nemkov, 29, immediately bought time to shake off the cobwebs by scoring a takedown and went on to use his wrestling to dominate his foe.
"He caught me but I wasn't knocked down, I just kind of fell," Nemkov said through a translator. "The reason I went more to grappling was that he has a hard head and I realized it wasn't going to happen so I started to work submissions."
Nemkov was cut above his left eye by an accidental head butt early in Round 2. All that did, however, was drip from above all over the face of Anglickas after an easy takedown. Nemkov closed the round by mauling Anglickas from above with short elbows, which opened up a cut on his left eye.
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The third round saw Nemkov actively seek a submission following an early takedown. He patiently alternated from arm bar to kimura and back again before finally getting enough leverage in Round 4 to produce a tap out via kimura.
Referee Mike Beltran leaped in at 4:24 of Round 4 to rescue the bloodied and battered Anglickas.
"I tried for a few armbars and he was kind of slipping and ended up on top of me," Nemkov said. "I tried to change it to a kimura and it worked."
Nemkov improved his win streak to nine overall dating back to 2016. Anglickas, meanwhile, suffered his first defeat since his second pro bout and snapped a three-fight win streak since joining Bellator.
CBS Sports will be with you throughout the evening for the latest updates, highlights and results from Phoenix, Arizona, with our live blog below. Stay tuned for updates all night long.
Bellator 268 fight card, results
- Vadim Nemkov (c) def. Julius Anglickas via fourth-round submission (Kimura)
- Corey Anderson def. Ryan Bader via first-round TKO (punches)
- Brent Primus def. Benson Henderson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Henry Corrales def. Vladyslav Parubchenko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Karl Albrektsson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mukhamed Berkhamov def. Jaleel Willis via first-round submission (guillotine)
- Nick Browne def. Bobby Lee via first-round submission (heel hook)
- Javier Torres def. Gregory Milliard via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Sumiko Inaba def. Randi Field via second-round submission (arm triangle choke)
- Lance Gibson Jr. def. Raymond Pina via second-round TKO (punches)
- Jaylon Bates def. Raphael Montini via first-round submission (armbar)
- Sullivan Cauley def. Deon Clash via first-round TKO (punches)
- Maria Henderson def. Collette Santiago via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
The tap came at 4:25 of Round 4. Nemkov advances to face Corey Anderson in the tournament final.
R4: And there's the kimura and there is the tap. What a dominant performance from the champion, Vadim Nemkov.
R4: Nemkov tries for an americana but settles for more forearm and elbow strikes. The champ tries another arm submission but Anglickas is staying very stingy in his defense.
R4: Anglickas eating one elbow to the head after another. Nemkov was denied full mount but takes side position and is just smothering him.
R4: Nemkov is landing big strikes from top and looking for submission angles.
ROUND 4: Clean and early takedown for Nemkov. This is why he's the champion.
R3: 10-8 Nemkov
R3: This is an absolute mauling. Anglickas is tough but he's constantly fighting off submission attempts, including another armbar.
R3: Anglickas works his arm free and takes over side position on top. Nemkov quickly stands him up and takes him back down.
R3: Nemkov now trying for an armbar. The champ is actively looking to end this fight.
R3: Nemkov is systematically working over Anglickas on the ground. Short elbow strikes land as it appears Nemkov is looking to set up a head-and-arm choke.
ROUND 3: Nemkov changes levels and gets an easy takedown.
R2: Anglickas is getting battered with elbows and he is cut open. 10-8 for Nemkov.
R2: Nemkov's blood is all over the face of Anglickas and the champ is lighting him up with punches and short elbows.
R2: Nemkov is having his way on the ground with Anglickas. This type of heavy and constant offense is wearing the challenger down.
R2: Replays show Nemkov's cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads.
R2: Nemkov bleeding from a cut around his left eye. He's very active, however, from top position. Big strikes.
R2: Nemkov forces the standing clinch and trips Anglickas to the ground.
R2: Very good boxing from Nemkov to work off his jab and move his own head to avoid the counter shots.
ROUND 2: Quick jabs from Nemkov to get inside. Anglickas lands a stiff one of his own.
R1: Big right hand late from Nemkov. He worked all the back to take it, 10-9.
R1: Big jab and overhand right from Nemkov. His speed is giving Anglickas fits.
R1: Nemkov lands a combination and avoids Anglickas' attempt to tie him up in the clinch. Nemkov is bleeding from the nose but on the attack.
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