The Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix kicks into high gear tonight at Bellator 257. The tournament started last week with Ryan Bader exacting revenge over Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision, and continues tonight with two more opening round matchups. The main event will also be a light heavyweight title fight, featuring a rematch between former champion Phil Davis and current champ Vadim Nemkov.
In their 2018 bout, Nemkov edged out “Mr. Wonderful” Davis by split decision on his path to claiming the title over Bader last year. Davis will look to exact revenge and regain his old belt in the process, while Nemkov will try to prove the first victory was no fluke. The fight’s winner will face the winner of the highly-anticipated upcoming bout between Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero.
The co-main event fighters, former UFC contender Corey Anderson and former ACA and ACB champion Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov, will be fighting for a chance to take on Bader in the semifinals. Many fans were confused with the annoucement of Yagshimuradov’s inclusion on the card, both because of his unknown status and difficult-to-pronounce name. Make no mistake, though, he is a legit talent capable of beating anybody in any of MMA’s aspects. “Overtime” Anderson, meanwhile, continues to chase gold in his new organization after unsuccessfully doing so in the UFC. He shows fight fans new improvements in each fight, so he is going to be a tough out in this tournament.
Bellator 257 will also feature two women’s bouts that are pivotal in their respective divisions. Longtime flyweight contender Veta Arteaga will attempt to get back on the right track on the main card against LFA vet and Bellator debutant Desiree Yanez, who is looking to rebound from her second career loss. The prelims will be headlined by former featherweight champion Julia Budd, who looks to continue to make her case for a rematch against the woman who took her belt, Cris Cyborg. She’ll take on Shooto and Dana White Contender Series vet Dayana Silva, who will look to start her Bellator career off with a bang.
The main card will be kicked off by a welterweight bout between British welterweight MMA legend “Semtex” Paul Daley, who is expected to retire after the fight regardless of outcome, and UFC veteran Sabah Homasi, who is riding a four-fight win streak. This fight should be a pseudo-kickboxing bout, but fireworks nonetheless.
The Bellator 257 preliminary card is especially stacked, with any of the fights being a candidate to be on the main card of almost any other Bellator card. Two featherweight fights are especially intriguing. First, Pedro Carvalho will kick off the card in his first fight after losing to Patricio Pitbull in a Featherweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal and Bellator featherweight championship fight against hot prospect Jay Jay Wilson. Two staples on the European MMA scene and UFC veterans, Mads Burnell and Saul Rogers, will face off to build a case towards contention.
At light heavyweight, Viktor Nemkov, brother of the headlining Vadim Nemkov, will take on Swedish powerhouse Karl Albrektsson in a fight where both fighters could make a case to be an alternate for the Grand Prix. Meanwhile, kickboxing legend Raymond Daniels will make his third Bellator appearance in MMA as he takes on the 5-4 Peter Stanonik.
Stay tuned to MMA Sucka for up-to-date Bellator 257 results. The preliminary card starts at 5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT on Bellator’s YouTube page, followed by the main card at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT on Showtime.
Bellator 257 Results
Vadim Nemkov def. Phil Davis via unanimous decision (48-47 x3), advances to Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal AND defends Bellator light heavyweight championship
Corey Anderson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via TKO (ground and pound), 2:15 of Round 3, advances to Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal
Veta Arteaga def. Desiree Yanez via majority decision (28-28, 29-27 x2)
Paul Daley def. Sabah Homasi via TKO (left hook and punches), 1:44 of Round 2
Julia Budd def. Dayana Silva via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Julius Anglickas def. Gregory Milliard via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
Steve Mowry def. Shaun Asher via TKO (knee and punches), 0:55 of Round 1
Grachik Bozinyan def. Demarques Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Raymond Daniels def. Peter Stanonik via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Lance Gibson Jr. def. Marcus Surin via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
Karl Albrektsson def. Viktor Nemkov via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Mads Burnell def. Saul Rogers via submission (rear-naked choke), 4:08 of Round 2
Jay Jay Wilson def. Pedro Carvalho via TKO (ground and pound), 0:53 of Round 2