Vadim Nemkov left Bellator 277 with his light heavyweight championship in hand, but he did not beat Corey Anderson. A clash of heads in the third round opened a bad cut over Nemkov's left eye, eliciting a no-contest ruling by referee Frank Trigg.
Nemkov outstruck his challenger in the first round, but Anderson cranked up the temperature over the second and third rounds. The momentum was firmly with Anderson in the third as he landed a solid combination that set up a valuable takedown. Nemkov did well to avoid damage on the bottom and even snuck in a guillotine choke that forced Anderson to squirm out. Anderson settled into the top position in the closing minutes, landing a vicious elbow in the process. A miscalculation resulted in an accidental headbutt that sliced Nemkov open over his eye.
Trigg immediately halted the fight and Anderson was honest in owning up to the accidental clash. The ringside doctor deemed Nemkov's cut too severe to continue. In a five-round fight, the match must reach the fourth round before a technical decision can come into play. A technical decision involves a winner being determined based on the judges' scorecards prior to the fight's conclusion. Since the bout was stopped at 4:57 of the third round and Anderson's illegal strike was deemed accidental, the fight was ruled a no contest.
"Ain't nobody's fault," Anderson told Nemkov and his corner after the fight. "Good fight."
Nemkov retained his Bellator light heavyweight championship as a result of the no-contest and the finals of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix remain unresolved.
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