Vadim Nemkov rose to the top of Bellator MMA’s light heavyweight division without much fanfare. How long he can remain there remains to be seen.
The 29-year-old Fedor Emelianenko protégé will enter his 2022 campaign on a career-best run of nine consecutive wins. Nemkov last competed at Bellator 268 on Oct. 16, when he retained his 205-pound title with a fourth-round technical knockout of Julius Anglickas and punched his ticket to the light heavyweight grand prix final. There, an anticipated showdown with Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Corey Anderson awaits.
As Nemkov turns his attention towards his forthcoming battle with Anderson, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied him to this point:
29: Years of age for Nemkov, who was born on June 20, 1992 in Belgorod, Russia.
9: Nemkov victories by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 64% of his career total (14). His list of Bellator victims: Ryan Bader, Liam McGeary and Philipe Lins. Nemkov owns three other victories by submission and two more by decision.
134: Combined wins between the eight men—Anglickas, Bader, McGeary, Lins, Phil Davis (twice), Rafael Carvalho, Alison Vicente and Mikolaj Rozanski—Nemkov has beaten during his current nine-fight winning streak. They sport a cumulative record of 134-52 (.720).
22: Seconds needed for Nemkov to punch out Joaquim Ferreira at a League S-70 event on Aug. 29, 2015. Having occurred in just his fourth professional assignment, it remains the fastest finish of his 16-fight career.
4: Combat sambo world championships on the Nemkov mantle. He struck gold in the discipline in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
7: Light heavyweight champions in Bellator history, Nemkov included. Davis, Bader, McGeary, Emanuel Newton, Attila Vegh and Christian M’Pumbu are the others. Bader holds the record for the longest reign at 1,155 days, having held the title from June 24, 2017 to Aug. 21, 2020.
8: Calendar years in which Nemkov has fought at least once. He went 2-0 in 2013, 3-1 in 2015, 2-1 in 2016, 1-0 in 2017, 2-0 in 2018, 1-0 in 2019, 1-0 in 2020 and 2-0 in 2021.
19: Professional rounds accrued by Nemkov. He has gone the distance three times and sports a 2-1 record in those appearances.
5: Countries in which Nemkov has fought as a mixed martial artist. He has gone 5-0 in his native Russia, 5-0 in the United States, 2-2 in Japan, 1-0 in Israel and 1-0 in Italy.
.854: Cumulative winning percentage between the two men—Jiri Prochazka and Karl Albrektsson—who have defeated Nemkov. They boast a combined record of 41-6-1.