Sources — Vadim Nemkov-Anthony Johnson headlines Bellator light …

Sources -- Vadim Nemkov-Anthony Johnson headlines Bellator light ...

One of the greatest events in Bellator’s recent history is coming to the desert.
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The semifinals of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix will take place on the same card on Oct. 16 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, sources told ESPN on Saturday.

The event will be crowned by the semifinal between Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkovy and multiple former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. In the co-main event, Ryan Bader, current Bellator heavyweight champion and former Bellator light heavyweight champion, takes on former UFC contender Corey Anderson in the other semifinal.

ESPN has three of the four semifinal competitors ranked in the top 10 in the world at 205 pounds: Nemkov (6), Anderson (8) and Bader (9).

The winners of those two fights will meet at a later date to determine the Grand Prix winner, the Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion and the winner of the $1 million tournament prize.

Johnson (23-6) is one of the most feared knockout punchers in MMA history. The Florida native made his Bellator debut with a knockout in the second round of Jose Augusto in May, his first attack in nearly four years. That was in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix. Johnson, 37, announced a return from retirement with Bellator last year. He has lost to only one man since 2012, a former UFC double champion Daniel Cormier. Both fights were UFC light heavyweight title fights.

Nemkov (14-2) stopped Bader via second-round TKO last August to become Bellator light heavyweight champion. The native of Russia successfully defended the title in April, a unanimous decision to win Phil Davis in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix. Nemkov, 29, has won eight in a row. He is a protégé of the legendary MMA heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.

Anderson (15-5) is 2-0 since moving to Bellator last year. The Illinois resident is ready Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via TKO in the third round of the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix in April. Anderson, 31, has won six of his last seven with the only loss to that time against Jan Blachowicz, current UFC light heavyweight champion.

Bader (28-6, 1 NC) recovered from his title loss against Nemkov by beating former UFC champion Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision in the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix in April. The Arizona native has suffered just one loss in his past 10 fights. Bader, 38, is still the Bellator heavyweight champion after winning a tournament in that weight class in January 2019 and dropping Emelianenko in the final.

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