UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Vadim Nemkov wants to make Russia proud.
The 27-year-old fighter is out to become the first Russian champion at light heavyweight in a major MMA organization. And on Friday night, Nemkov (11-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) will get the opportunity to do just that as he challenges dual champion Ryan Bader for his 205-pound title in the main event of Bellator 244.
Nemkov’s desire for bringing back the title to his home country fuels his drive.
“I really want it,” Nemkov told MMA Junkie. “I want it. I trained for it. I’m young, I’m hungry – this is what I envisioned.
“I want to have a title. I want to bring back a title to Russia. This is probably not big news, but for me it is. If I succeed and win the title, I will be the first Russian to earn a title at 205 pounds in a major organization, so it’s a big deal for me.”
Nemkov is unbeaten in his Bellator career and has picked up notable victories over former Bellator champions Liam McGeary, Phil Davis and Rafael Carvalho.
The Russian won’t let his impressive run get to his head, though. Nemkov said he won’t underestimate Bader and is prepared for a hard-fought contest with the champion.
“I don’t play the fight out on my head because this is mixed martial arts, and the fight can last 25 minutes or end in 30 seconds, so I don’t really play it out,” Nemkov explained. “What I did do is prepare for 25 minutes of hard fighting. I’m prepared for 25 minutes of hard wrestling, grinding, and hard fight.
“I have a game plan, and I hope to implement it on Saturday, and if it’s successful you guys will see. Of course, I would like to finish the fight with a knockout or a quick submission, but you don’t know.”
This was originally published on www.mmajunkie.com