Vadim Nemkov officially vacates Bellator light heavyweight title, new champion will be crowned in 2024

Vadim Nemkov is no longer the Bellator light heavyweight champion.

On Wednesday, Bellator officials confirmed to MMA Fighting that Nemkov vacated the 205-pound belt with plans to only focus on heavyweight moving forward. He’s already booked his next fight with a showdown scheduled against ex-PFL champion Bruno Cappelozza at the upcoming PFL vs. Bellator card on Feb. 24 in Saudi Arabia.

MMA Junkie initially reported the news.

As of now, the Bellator light heavyweight title remains vacant but a new champion will be crowned sometime in 2024.

Undefeated in 10 fights with Bellator, Nemkov ran roughshod over the light heavyweight division including wins over ex-champion Ryan Bader as well as beating Corey Anderson and Yoel Romero in back-to-back fights. It was after the win over Romero that Nemkov revealed plans to move up to heavyweight because the weight cut getting down to 205 pounds was just getting too difficult.

Nemkov will follow through on that promise with his return to heavyweight kicking off the fight schedule in 2024.

The Russian has competed at heavyweight in the past — most notably as part of the RIZIN Grand Prix where he actually suffered a loss to future UFC champion Jiri Prochazka in the semifinals.

Now he’ll return to his old stomping grounds with plans to call heavyweight his home for the future.

There’s no word yet when Bellator will move forward with crowning a new light heavyweight champion but the promotion is scheduled to hold several events internationally in 2024 after PFL purchased the promotion.

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