Bellator 257: Report, highlights and full replay


The report below contains details of Bellator 257 but you can watch the entire event again on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

Bellator light-heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov retained his title with a unanimous decision victory over former champ Phil Davis at Bellator 257 to progress to the semi-finals of the $1m light-heavyweight grand prix.

Cornered by Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and older brother Viktor Nemkov, who lost his light-heavyweight bout on the preliminary card earlier in the night, Nemkov, 28, edged the striking exchanges over the course of the five-round fight in Uncasville, Connecticut to earn scores of 48-47 from all three judges.

Nemkov’s win means he will move on to face the winner of the quarter-final bout between former UFC stars Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Yoel Romero, who face off at Bellator 258 on 7 May.

In the co-main event, former UFC light-heavyweight contender Corey Anderson claimed a third-round TKO finish to kick off his Bellator career with an impressive victory in his quarter-final grand prix bout.

Anderson, 31, saw off Turkmenistan’s Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via ground strikes in the third round to book his spot in the semi-finals of the light-heavyweight tournament, where he will face current heavyweight champion and former light-heavyweight title holder Ryan Bader.

Daley gets off the canvas to win thriller

Nottingham’s Paul “Semtex” Daley lived up to his explosive nickname by registering his 32nd career knockout after a thrilling back-and-forth battle with Sabah Homasi.

In a wild start to their 175-pound bout, Homasi, 32, stunned Daley early and forced the Briton to the canvas with a flurry of strikes. But despite looking in trouble, Daley recovered well to weather the storm before hurting Homasi with a trio of knees in the final 90 seconds of the round to remind the American of his striking power.

A refreshed Daley dropped Homasi with a big right hand after the restart as he found his range early in round two. The 38-year-old stayed composed and, after the fight returned to the feet, he connected with a huge left hook to floor Homasi again, then finished it with ground strikes to seal the 43rd win of his 18-year, 62-fight MMA career.

Earlier, Denmark’s former Cage Warriors featherweight champion Mads Burnell continued his impressive start to life on the Bellator roster as he overcame England’s Saul Rogers in the second round to register his second straight submission finish inside the Bellator cage.

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