LOS ANGELES (Oct. 7, 2021) – Reigning 205-pound World Champion Vadim Nemkov (14-2) will meet No. 5 contender Julius Anglickas (10-1) as part of the second of three events BELLATOR MMA must-sees for the month of October, while BELLATOR World Heavyweight Champion and No. 1 ranked light heavyweight Ryan “Darth” Bader (28-6, 1 NC) will face No. 2 Corey Anderson (15 -5) in the BELLATOR MMA 268 co-featured fight: Semi-Finals of the World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix on Saturday. October 16 live on SHOWTIME at 10 pm ET from the Phoenix Footprint Center.
SHOWTIME will televise BELLATOR MMA 268’s fantastic four-fight main card: World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals live at 10 pm ET. In addition, each and every one of the 10 preliminary matches will be able to be seen live three hours before starting at 7 pm ET on the YouTube channel of BELLATOR MMA and SHOWTIME Sports, and on Pluto TV.
Tickets for BELLATOR MMA 268: Semi-Finals of the World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix are now on sale through Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com.
Benson Henderson (28-10) and his wife Maria Henderson (1-0) live in Phoenix and will fight on the same night for the first time, participating on the main card and the preliminary portion, respectively. Maria will open the night by clashing with Collette Santiago in a strawweight fight between two powerful Arizonians. Benson, No. 3 in the lightweight rankings, will first push for his wife and then step into the Octagon on his own to face former 155-pound champion Brent Primus (10-2). Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Benson proposed to Maria Inside the Cage in 2013 after defeating Gilbert Melendez in San Jose, California.
Nemkov, hailing from Belgorod, Russa, captured the BELLATOR light heavyweight crown after beating Bader by second round TKO as part of BELLATOR 244 in August 2020. The fierce 29-year-old is on a roll with eight wins in a row and boasts seven knockouts going for him in the first round during his 16 fights. His most recent engagement saw Nemkov successfully defend his light heavyweight belt after a tough unanimous decision prevalence against Phil Davis.
Anglickas, from St. Charles, Missouri, replaces Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at the last minute to challenge Nemkov. The pride of Plunge, Lithuania has defeated nine opponents in a row and is looking to reach the final of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix with a victory that brings it closer to the $ 1 million prize as the official alternate fighter of the tournament.
Bader, a resident of Chandler, Ariz., Became the first BELLATOR fighter to hold the light heavyweight and heavyweight belts simultaneously during BELLATOR 214. He achieved that milestone after knocking out the legendary Fedor Emelianenko with a flurry of punches after just 35 seconds in the first round to establish himself as the BELLATOR Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion in January 2019. Bader also excelled in wrestling as a college student at Arizona State, and the Reno, Nevada native also features wins over Davis (x2), “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine during their illustrious 14-year career and counting in mixed martial arts.
Anderson, of Robbinsville, NJ, has prevailed against his last seven rivals, including his triumph stopping Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the third round of BELLATOR 257 six months ago, in April of this year. The Rockford, Illinois native also won by second round TKO against Melvin Manhoef during his first promotional appearance as part of BELLATOR 251 in November 2020.
The BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix began on April 9, 2021 with BELLATOR 256, when Bader defeated Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision and Anderson dismantled Yagshimuradov in the Quarterfinals played at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The following week, Nemkov began defending his crown as a defending champion by prevailing against former champion Phil Davis. The winners of Nemkov-Anglickas and Bader-Anderson will meet in an unmissable final later this year.
Rounding out the broadcast of the four fights on SHOWTIME are the previously mentioned lightweight Henderson and Primus, as well as two voracious featherweights like veteran knockout artist Henry “OK” Corrales (18-6) vs. Ukrainian ace of the submission Vladyslav Parubchenko (16-2).
Sweden’s 10th-ranked light heavyweight sensation Karl Albrektsson (12-3) stands out on the preliminary card facing Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1), who will make his inaugural appearance at BELLATOR. Additionally, undefeated fighters Sumiko “Lady Samurai” Inaba (2-0) of Maui, Hawaii, and Canadian “Ruthless” Randi Field (2-0) meet in a featherweight match. The preliminaries are rounded off with Lance Gibson Jr. (4-0) looking to keep his ark immaculate in a lightweight fight against local Raymond Pina (9-4) of Tucson, Arizona, and the always dangerous Jaylon Bates (3- 0) returning to the BELLATOR cage for the third time in 2021 to clash with Brazilian Raphael Montini (6-4, 1 NC) on a bantamweight date.
BELLATOR 268: Semi-finals of the World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix
Saturday, October 16 – Live on SHOWTIME
10 pm ET / 7 pm PT
World Light Heavyweight Title Main Event: Champion-Vadim Nemkov (14-2) vs. No. 5-Julius Anglickas (10-1)
World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal: No. 1-Ryan Bader (28-6, 1 NC) vs. No. 2-Corey Anderson (15-5)
Lightweight Fight: No. 3-Benson Henderson (28-10) vs. Brent Primus (10-2)
Featherweight Fight: Henry Corrales (18-6) vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko (16-2)
BELLATOR 268: Semi-finals of the World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix
BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel | Pluto TV
Saturday, October 16
7 pm ET / 4 pm PT
Light Heavyweight Fight: No. 10-Karl Albrektsson (12-3) vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1)
Light Heavyweight Fight: Sullivan Cauley (1-0) vs. Deon Clash (1-0)
Lightweight Fight: Nick Browne (11-1) vs. Bobby Lee (12-6)
Middleweight Fight: Javier Torres (11-5, 1 NC) vs. Gregory Milliard (12-6)
Women’s Flyweight Fight: Sumiko Inaba (2-0) vs. Randi Field (2-0)
Lightweight Fight: Lance Gibson Jr. (4-0) vs. Raymond Pina (9-4)
Bantamweight Fight: Jaylon Bates (3-0) vs. Raphael Montini (6-4, 1 NC)
Welterweight fight: Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1) vs. Jaleel Willis (15-2)
Strawweight Amateur Fight: Maria Henderson (1-0) vs. Collette Santiago (0-2)
* Billboard subject to change.
For more information, visit Bellator.com.
Updated calendar of BELLATOR events
Sat, Oct 16 // BELLATOR 268: World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals // Footprint Center // Phoenix, AZ
Sat, Oct 23 // BELLATOR 269: Fedor vs. Johnson // VTB Arena // Moscow, Russia
Fri, Nov 5: // BELLATOR 270: Queally vs. Pitbull 2 // 3Arena // Dublin, Ireland
Fri, Nov 12 // BELLATOR 271: Cyborg vs. Kavanagh // Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino // Hollywood, FL