A brief timeline of the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix
Let’s take a look back at the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix before Bellator 277.
Bellator 277 is fast approaching and on the card we will see the conclusion of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. A once-touted tournament that featured one of Bellator’s top homegrown guys in Vadim Nemkov, as well as Bellator-branded villains in Phil Davis and Ryan Bader, three major free agent signings in Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Yoel Romero and Corey Anderson. Ever-dangerous legend Lyoto Machida was also getting another shot at a Grand Prix title, while ACA newcomer Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov hoped to make a name for himself by winning it all as a dark horse.
The first round bouts were set, with Nemkov defending his light heavyweight title against Davis, with Johnson facing Romero in a blockbuster first encounter. Next, Anderson got debutant Yagshimuradov, while Bader took on Machida.
It was supposed to be the greatest Grand Prix ever, but it was one that met obstacle after obstacle. First, Romero had to be replaced by Jose Augusto due to injury. Johnson would win his first fight and face Nemkov in a highly anticipated match. Both Anderson and Bader won their respective bouts, leading to a second-round clash of former teammates.
Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix fell apart a bit due to major loss
Then Johnson pulled out, citing serious illness. So he was replaced by Julius Anglickas, who was 3-0 at Bellator before teaming up with Nemkov. He pushed Nemkov a bit but Anglickas fell on Nemkov like many had done before. Then, Anderson and Bader’s highly anticipated fight went as well as expected considering how the Grand Prix had gone up to that point. The fight lasted 51 seconds, a disappointing ending considering the history between the two former teammates.
Losing Johnson, who looked beyond impressive, hurt the perception a bit. Fans were disappointed but understanding. Yet somehow one of the most desired outcomes still ended up happening, as Nemkov and Anderson fought their way to the conclusion of the Grand Prix and now stand , hypothetically, face to face, ready to prove who Bellator’s best 205’er really is.
It will be an exciting contest and fans won’t want to miss it.