Rafael Carvalho didn’t stand a chance Saturday in Milan, Italy. Vadim Nemkov made sure of it.
The Russian fighter drove Carvalho back against the cage with a vicious right hand and cinched in a rear naked choke moments later to make the Brazilian tap for the second-round submission in the main event of Bellator 230 at the Ex Palalido and on DAZN.
The three-time Russian national sambo champion immediately set the tone for the bout by unleashing a nasty head kick to Carvalho’s temple in the opening seconds that affected the Brazilian’s equilibrium. Carvalho was never the same after that. Nemkov took Carvalho down with ease next and was in instant control. The offense served as a painful taste of things to come for Carvalho, who couldn't get his footing set during the fight.
It was a dominant win for Nemkov, who remained undefeated in Bellator and furthered his case as a serious threat in the light heavyweight division.
Co-main event: Dragos Zubco edges Hesdy Gerges by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28); catchweight (243 pounds)
Gerges dropped Zubco with a left hand and again moments later with a right during the third round, but he inexplicably didn’t go in for the finish. That decision — or lack thereof — allowed Zubco to secure the victory on the scorecards.
Zubco used takedowns to open up his striking, peppering Gerges earlier in the fight. The offense mounted was enough to earn him the nod.
Earlier results from Bellator 230
Kirill Sidelnikov def. Domingos Barros via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28); heavyweights.
Walter Pugliesi def. Andrea Fusi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); welterweights.