Bellator MMA returned to our screens last weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut – with a light heavyweight title pairing between Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader, and emerging Russian force, Vadim Nemkov taking curtain closing honours.
For the Scott Coker led promotion, the event generated the lowest rating numbers of the year – drawing in an average of just two-hundred and fifty-thousand viewers for the eleven fight card, according to a report from MMA Fighting. In comparison, Bellator 243 earlier this month on August 7 – scored the highest numbers of this annum at four-hundred and three-thousand average viewers. Taking headlining honours that night – a lightweight rematch between decorated former world champions, Michael Chandler, and ‘Smooth’ Benson Henderson.
Prior to Nemkov’s successful title siege in the opening-round, former Bellator featherweight champion, Julia ‘The Jewel’ Budd returned to winning ways with a unanimous judging win over Jessica Miele. The Canadian had dropped the 145-pound title to legendary kickboxing talent, Cris Cyborg in her fourth attempted title defence at Bellator 238 in January.
In a heavyweight pairing, also on the main card – surging Russian heavyweight prospect, Valentin Moldavsky improved to 10-1 with a unanimous decision win over UFC alumnus, Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson.
The promotion drew some notable attention following the event – with newly minted 205-pound titleholder, Nemkov – voicing his opinion on the current landscape on the global light heavyweight situation – naming himself as the best 205-pounder on the planet. Nemkov’s bold claim follows two-time UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones’ decision to vacant his championship – which is up for grabs at UFC 253 on September 26th. as Dominick Reyes meets with Jan Błachowicz.
The North American based promotion will look to improve on those disappointing numbers at Bellator 245 on September 11 – as former light heavyweight best, Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis rematches former UFC 205-pound gold holder, Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida – seven years after their initial meeting. The aforenoted, Nemkov is sure to keep a close eye on that re-run, explaining how his first title defence opponent may emerge between Davis and Machida.