Bellator 230 Results: Vadim Nemkov Flips Script, Submits Rafael Carvalho

Vadim Nemkov Bellator MMA
Vadim Nemkov Credit: Bellator MMA

A dangerous striker, Vadim Nemkov finished Rafael Carvalho on the ground, earning just his second career submission win at Bellator 230.

Bellator 230’s main event saw former middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho back in action. In a light heavyweight scrap, he’d take on the formidable Vadim Nemkov. The action aired via tape delay on Paramount and DAZN, having gone down earlier in the day in Milan, Italy. And of note, it represented Carvalho’s debut at 205lbs, after a catchweight fight at 190lbs earlier on against Chidi Njokuani.

Nemkov, billed as a knockout artist, went right to work Saturday, using a leg kick to set up a high kick in the opening seconds. The Russian then put the pressure on the former middleweight champ, battering him against the fence, then using an inside trip to take him down. Nemkov moved into guard, while Carvalho worked to the fence, wall-walking up.

Before long, however, Nemkov had the Brazilian back down. Again, Carvalho freed himself, and back on the feet, fired a kick. Nemkov returned fire, forcing Carvalho to retreat. He’d fire a head kick that was partially blocked. At the end of the opening frame, Carvalho was struggling to get offense going.

Round two had Carvalho needing the make a course correction. He was circling into Nemkiv’s power hand, and wound up wobbled early. The former title holder had his legs nearly go out from under him, but managed to hold it together. He fired off a high kick of his own, but wound up taken down, Nemkov dangerously close to mount. He’d move to side control, and end up in half guard. None of it was good for Carvalho, however. Nemkov looked to create space, and picked his shots, while controlling his opponent’s legs. Carvalho would roll, looking to cover up and escape harm, only to give up the back. That allowed Nemkov to lock in a choke, and force the tap!

The finish was just the second submission win in the career of Vadim Nemkov, who is now a front runner to challenge Ryan Bader for the light heavyweight title.

Official Result: Vadim Nemkov def. Rafael Carvalho by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 3:56