Bellator 268 is just hours away as highly-anticipated semi-finals are in store for the promotion’s Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Tonight’s event will make its first-ever appearance from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The card will kick off at 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT available on Showtime through their cable program, website, and phone application.
Take a look at our picks for today’s UFC Vegas 40 event in Las Vegas as well.
Both semi-final pairings will be contested over the possible course of five, five-minute rounds. Currently divisional champion Vadim Nemkov will faceoff against opponent Julius Anglickas in the main event.
Nemkov took the 205-pound strap with a knockout of Ryan Bader last year, following it up with his first title defense and second victory over Phil Davis in April. With eight wins in-a-row and six of those by way of finish, the Russian Sambo specialist will look for another impressive title performance tonight. Nemkov’s opponent, Anglickas, will look to play spoiler, stepping in as an alternate following Anthony Johnson’s injury and removal from the tournament. The Lithuanian-born is no stranger to pressure, having been LFA‘s divisional title holder in 2019 with only one defeat through his professional career.
In the co-main event, Ryan Bader and Corey Anderson will fight with hopes for a spot in the tournament finale. Current heavyweight champion Bader looks to claim back the title at 205 pounds, having been one of only two ever simultaneous two-divisional Bellator champions. The Ultimate Fighter 19 winner Anderson aims to secure his third-straight knockout victory since joining the organization just over a year ago.
The winner of Bader and Anderson will be set in the finals against the winner of Nemkov and Anglickas at a to-be-determined date.
Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be selected for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the full fight card.
The WINNER of staff picks in 2021 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. For the third straight year, Michael DeSantis captured the 2020 victory compiling a record of 201-88.
Find our Bellator 268: Nemkov vs. Anglickas staff picks below.
Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series 43:
1. Nate Freeman: 191-104
2T. Wesley Riddle: 186-109
2T. Michael DeSantis: 186-109
4. Frazer Krohn: 173-122
5. Mike Lynch: 161-124
6. Ash Camyab: 160-111
7. Jeremy Brand: 158-133
8. Andrew Benjamin: 121-124
9. Tim Wheaton: 108-82
10. Chris Presnell: 66-29
*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – UFC Vegas 40 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*
Henry Corrales (18-6) vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko (16-2)
Jeremy Brand: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Corrales via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Parubchenko via Round 2 Submission
Staff picking Corrales: 7
Staff picking Parubchenko: 1
Benson Henderson (28-10) vs. Brent Primus (10-2)
Jeremy Brand: Henderson via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Primus via Round 1 Submission
Michael DeSantis: Primus via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Henderson via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Henderson via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Henderson via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Primus via Split Decision
Chris Presnell: Primus via Split Decision
Staff picking Henderson: 4
Staff picking Primus: 4
Ryan Bader (28-6, 1 NC) vs. Corey Anderson (15-5)
Jeremy Brand: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Anderson via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Anderson via Split Decision
Mike Lynch: Bader via TKO
Nate Freeman: Bader via Split Decision
Chris Presnell: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Staff picking Bader: 6
Staff picking Anderson: 2
Vadim Nemkov (14-2) Julius Anglickas (10-1)
Jeremy Brand: Nemkov via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Nemkov via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Nemkov via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Nemkov via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Nemkov via Round 3 TKO
Mike Lynch: Nemkov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Nemkov via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Nemkov via Round 1 KO
Staff picking Nemkov: 8
Staff picking Anglickas: 0
Featured image courtesy of Bellator MMA