It appears as though Phil Davis will get a chance to recapture a championship he once held.
“Mr. Wonderful” on Monday was named as the No. 1 contender for current Bellator MMA light heavyweight titleholder Vadim Nemkov. In an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Bellator President Scott Coker indicated that the current plan was for Davis to challenge Nemkov for the 205-pound title. The two men met previously at Bellator 209 in 2018, when Nemkov eked out a split decision over the Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran. It remains his only career victory by decision.
Davis has since bounced back with consecutive wins over Liam McGeary at Bellator 220, Karl Albrektsson at Bellator 231 and Lyoto Machida at Bellator 245.
“He had a great fight with Nemkov last time,” Coker said. “This will be a rematch. Phil has done a great job since then. That was a close fight. Phil just came off of a great win against Machida. I think Phil should be next in line.”
News of Davis’ ascent means Bellator newcomer Corey Anderson will have to wait his turn despite the fact that he squashed Melvin Manhoef in the Bellator 251 headliner on Nov. 5.
“Listen, I thought he did a great job,” Coker said. “I thought he did exactly what he was supposed to do. I don’t think he’ll get the shot next, but I think maybe one more fight and we’ll put him right in there with the champ, whoever the champ is at the time. He’s somebody who adds great depth to our roster at 205. That’s why I’ve always said we have the best light heavyweight division on the planet. He’s a major part of why we can say that.”
Bellator has not yet announced an official date for the Nemkov-Davis rematch. The Russian champion has not yet defended the 205-pound crown—a title he captured when he laid waste to Ryan Bader at Bellator 244 in August.
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