WATCH: Ryan Bader Eats Head Kick in Brutal TKO Loss

By Darren
WATCH: Ryan Bader Eats Head Kick in Brutal TKO Loss

After three years, Ryan Bader finally tried to defend his light-heavyweight title for the second. The Bellator fighter also held the promotion’s heavyweight strap and focused his attentions on that division for the past few years. However, nobody really noticed because the division is so thin.

Light-heavyweight and heavyweight are the two thinnest divisions in MMA. This is where the UFC really comes to the fore because they sign the best talent. It leaves the likes of ONE and Bellator with cast-offs and slim pickings. But with Jon Jones out of the picture, many believed that Bader v Vadim Nemkov would reveal the best active light-heavyweight in the world.

And in Nemkov, Bellator may have a gem. The Russian put on a savage display to batter Bader into oblivion and win the title. How do you think he would fare against UFC caliber talent? Check out the highlights of his impressive display below.

Round One

This fight only went two rounds but it was entertaining. Bader came out firing but Nemkov stayed calm and picked his shots. Even though Bader put him under pressure, he didn’t do much damage. Meanwhile, Nemkov broke through Bader’s defense on multiple occasions.

It was an impressive first-round display. Nemkov looked like the champion defending the belt, not Bader. Furthermore, when he went forward he looked very dangerous. Bader did get a takedown but didn’t do much with it. He was ready to go for the second round and do even more damage.

Second Round

Nemkov stepped up his game in the second round. He came out firing and pushed Bader back up against the fence. The champion was on the back foot for as long as the round lasted. Then Nemkov caught him with a savage roundhouse kick. He sent Bader crashing to the ground and then he was all over him like a staph infection.

Bader went into survival mode and tried to cover up as Nemkov rained blows down upon him. The referee gave Bader every chance to defend himself and in fairness, he did try. He continually tried to get back to his feet but Nemkov’s pressure was unrelenting. In the end, the referee had no choice but to wave the fight off.

Some fans criticized the referee for letting the fight go for so long, but Bader was intelligently defending himself until he finally covered up and gave up. He had no complaints about the stoppage after the fight. In sum, it was a tough loss but he knew what he signed up for. This wasn’t a case where he lay covered up and ate loads of shots. He kept moving until he couldn’t anymore.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports


Nemkov looks like one of the most exciting fighters in the weight class. Some are saying that he is the best in the world right now because Jon Jones has left the division. However, it still remains to be seen. Bader had a shocking weight cut and hadn’t competed in the division for three years.

Former UFC veteran Corey Anderson may get the next title shot. If Nemkov beats him convincingly then the argument that he’s one of the best in the world is much stronger. That is definitely the fight to make.