Los Angeles — Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov appears to have the “every fight is your biggest fight” mindset. Still, he also knows that his Bellator 277 title defense against Corey Anderson has the potential to be the biggest payday of his career.
“I’m ready to fight. I want to say it’s the most important fight, but all the past fights I’ve been in have been my most important fights,” Nemkov (15-2) told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview on Monday in Los Angeles. “But this is definitely the fight that I’m fighting for the biggest amount of money, so all I’m going to say is, I’m ready.”
The Russian light heavyweight, a former RIZIN fighter, has found considerable success in recent years, and has compiled a nine-fight win streak that has seen him capture and defend Bellator gold. The Team Fedor fighter is now a key part of heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko’s camp, and discussed the relationship with Fedor in the gym.
“Sometimes we can joke on him, he can joke on us. It’s a great relationship overall,” said Nemkov. “We talk about families, we have a great friendship, and when we train, it’s a whole different mood.”
There’s a different mood in Russia these days, however. Over a month ago, Russian forces invaded neighboring Ukraine under orders from President Vladimir Putin, who has insisted on calling the move a “special operation.” In recent days, the two sides have entered peace talks, and the Russian government has begun to admit what the world has long known: the fighting has taken a heavy toll on its own forces.
It’s not lost on Nemkov, who admitted that “I’m very worried, there’s a lot of people dying out there.” But, he added, “it hasn’t effected my camp, it hasn’t effected my training. We’ve prepared for the full camp, we haven’t been effected by it, and we’ve trained really hard for this upcoming fight.”
That preparation has the champ confident in the fight against Corey Anderson. “I’m ready for all five rounds, but I want to finish this fight with a knockout,” he told us.
Watch our full interview with light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov above. Nemkov faces Corey Anderson in the light heavyweight grand prix final at Bellator 277 this Friday, April 15, 2022 at the SAP Center in San Jose.