The first title defense for newly crowned Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov may come against a name he has met before.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker recently spoke to Nolan King of MMA Junkie and revealed that a rematch between Nemkov and former champion Phil Davis is coming soon.
“(Phil Davis) had a great fight with (Vadim) Nemkov last time,” said Coker (transcription by MMA Junkie). “This will be a rematch. Phil has done a great job since then. That was a close fight. I’m not sure if you recall. I think it was in Israel last year and they had a war there. Phil just came off of a great win against Machida. I think Phil should be next in line.”
Davis and Nemkov did indeed meet two years ago at Bellator 209, where the latter picked up a split decision victory. Since then, both men have gone on to win at least two to three more fights a piece against top names in the division and are now expected to share the cage for a second time.
The news of a Davis and Nemkov rematch may come as a surprise considering a new contender in the light heavyweight division emerged just this past week. Former UFC contender, Corey Anderson, recently made his promotional debut for Bellator at Bellator 251, where he took on and ultimately bested Melvin Manhoef inside of two rounds.
An emphatic win over Manhoef was sure to inject Anderson in the title picture, and although he alluded to it in his post-fight interview with John McCarthy, it appears as though he will need one more fight to truly be considered a title challenger.
“Listen, I thought he did a great job,” said Coker. “I thought he did exactly what he was supposed to do. I don’t think he’ll get the shot next, but I think maybe one more fight and we’ll put him right in there with the champ – whoever the champ is at the time. He’s somebody who adds great depth to our roster at 205. That’s why I’ve always said we have the best light heavyweight division on the planet. He’s a major part of why we can say that.”
Coker did not give any further details as to when the Davis and Nemkov rematch will happen.