“Big Country” is heading back to Connecticut later this month.
On Friday, Bellator officials confirmed to Cageside Press that popular heavyweight Roy Nelson would take on Russia’s Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 244. The bout was first reported earlier this month by Russia’s SportExpress.
Nelson (23-18) will be looking to pull out of a tailspin in the fight. The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner is just 1-4 under the Bellator MMA banner, and has lost four consecutive bouts against Matt Mitrione, Sergei Kharitonov, Mirko Cro-Cop, and Frank Mir. Three of the four went to decision, with only the heavy-handed Kharitonov able to stop Nelson.
As controversial as those losses have been (the Mitrione fight ended in a majority decision that many saw as a draw), at 44, Nelson’s time is quickly coming to a close. With Ryan Bader holding both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles in Bellator, any hope at contention for “Big Country” rests with a win against Moldavsky.
Moldavsky (9-1) has won all four of his Bellator MMA bouts to date. The Russian most recently defeated Javy Ayala at Bellator 239 back in February. His only loss as a pro came via split decision to Amir Aliakbari in RIZIN’s 2016 Open Weight Grand Prix.
Bellator 244 takes place Friday, August 22 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Ryan Bader defends his light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov in the main event.