PFL vs. Bellator: Vadim Nemkov Submits Bruno Cappelozza in Heavyweight Debut

Bruno Cappelozza and Vadim Nemkov, PFL vs. Bellator Champs
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - FEBRUARY 25: Vadim Nemkov throws a punch against Bruno Cappelozza during the 2024 PFL vs Bellator: Champs event at Kingdom Arena on February 25, 2024 in Riyadh. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Vadim Nemkov

One of Bellator’s best, 205-lb champion Vadim Nemkov, moved up in weight and defeated former PFL heavyweight champion Bruno Cappelozza in Saudi Arabia at PFL vs. Bellator: Champions on Saturday.

Although Cappelozza had a disappointing 2023 season after his championship win the year before, he still possesses insane knockout power. Vadim, a protégé of Fedor Emelianenko, has a clear wrestling and technical striking advantage, but the question was, how well would that work against a much larger man?

The fight began on the feet but Nemkov shot inside the first minute, though it was defended well by Cappelozza. However, Nemkov’s sharp 1-2 combinations put him ahead on the feet thereafter. Vadim stayed ahead for the rest of the round, gaining more and more momentum with a measured but effective striking game. A straight right in the final seconds popped open Bruno’s nose, marking his face with blood.

The second round started the same way but Cappelozza stunned him with a massive right hand one minute in. Vadim gathered himself, shot a takedown, and took Bruno down into half-guard. Nemkov instantly passed to full mount and locked up an arm-triangle. Bruno appeared ready to tap, but passed into dreamland before he could do so.

Nemkov’s win moved Bellator to 3-0 in the head-to-head format with PFL on the night.

Official Result: Vadim Nemkov def. Bruno Cappelozza by technical submission (arm-triangle choke) Round 2, 2:13