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Bellator 244 virtual media day Q&A | Live updates

Fighters are scheduled to start chatting today (Weds., Aug. 19) at 1:30 p.m. ET from inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

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Bellator 244 Bader vs. Nemkov Q&A

Bellator 244: “Bader vs. Nemkov” takes place this weekend (Fri., Aug. 21, 2020) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. In the main event, “champ-champ” Ryan Bader (27-5, 1 NC) puts his Light Heavyweight title on the line versus the fearsome Vadim Nemkov (11-2). Both fighters are scheduled to participate in what the promotion is calling a “Virtual Media Day” this afternoon (Weds., Aug. 19, 2020) starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Expected participants include:

Vadim Nemkov (1:30 p.m.) - Bellator Light Heavyweight
Jessy Miele (1:45 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Andrew Kapel (2:00 p.m.) - Bellator Middleweight
Valentine Moldavsky (2:15 p.m.) - Bellator Heavyweight
John Salter (2:30 p.m.) - Bellator Middleweight
Roy Nelson (2:45 p.m.) - Bellator Heavyweight
Julia Budd (3:00 p.m.) - Bellator Featherweight
Ryan Bader (3:15 p.m.) - Bellator Light Heavyweight/Heavyweight

Selected news and memorable quotes from the participants will be available below.

Vadim Nemkov: “Bader is very much like Phil Davis, the same style in terms of wrestling. I had a game plan for him and I have a game plan for Bader on Friday.”

Nemkov: “I was very disappointed when Fedor lost (to Bader) but really this fight is for me. It’s for me to win, but this fight is also for him.”

Nemkov: “Combat Sambo and MMA are obviously different. Sambo is an amateur sport, here we are professionals. Sambo is a bracket system so you don’t know who you have to face next and you have to adapt. Here you know your opponent. The athletes are world class so it’s definitely tougher to do it in Bellator.”

Nemkov: “Some day we’ll all look back on this as a long nightmare but if wearing a mask helps to eradicate this virus I’ll do it. I’m not happy wearing it but I’ll do it.”

Nemkov: “I was concerned that Bader might want to defend his Heavyweight belt and not Light Heavyweight due to not wanting to cut weight during the pandemic. If Bader wasn’t ready or didn’t want to fight I was ready to take on anybody else. This is how I earn my living. If I don’t fight my family doesn’t eat.”

Nemkov: “There’s a first time for everything. This will be my first time going five rounds, but I’ve trained very hard, I’ve gone to high altitude, I’ve had multiple sparring partners so I always had someone fresh on me. We’ve also got a strategy to conserve energy but I’m ready for a full five rounds.”

Nemkov: “If I was offered a fight at Heavyweight versus Bader I would take it, but I have a teammate Valentin Moldavsky who is hopefully on his way to a title shot soon, so I’d rather yield that title shot to him.”

Nemkov: “I feel like between me and Ryan Bader we’ve beaten a lot of top competition. This fight should be viewed on a more global level of MMA and the winner should be consider No. 1 (in the world).”

Jessy Miele: “We didn’t even know if we were even going to be able to train, to touch during this pandemic, so I’m just gonna go in there and show what I’ve been training for since I ever started.”

Miele: “I gotta say, I think everyone, when we go into any fight we want a finish, get a win early and enjoy the rest of the night. I’ve got a good game plan going in so no matter what happens I’ll be ready for it.”

Miele: “I’ll fight whoever Bellator puts in front of me but if it’s a title shot I’ll be ready for it.”

Miele: “A lot of people see me as the underdog for every fight I go into. Better for me for the upset so people are like ‘Oh my God who is this and what happened?’”

Miele: “For me it’s mentally that I’m going into this fight a lot more confident in my game. I want to put on a show for everybody and get the job done. I have more appreciation for my mental game, not just who’s in better shape, (but) this time it’s a lot more strategizing.”

Andrew Kapel: “I take one fight at a time. Everything is in the air right now. My focus is complete tunnel vision on John Salter. Once the smoke clears we can talk about what’s next. I’m a ‘One step at a time’ kind of dude. There’s a lot of people who don’t know who I am. A lot of people think the (King) Mo fight was a fluke so I look forward to silencing those doubters.”

Kapel: “In a lot of ways I feel a lot different (since Mo). I feel like I’m always improving but I think I had my biggest transformation once I moved to Colorado, that made my growth exponentially happen. I’m at the end of my career realistically but I’m in Bellator now so I’m going to make hay while the sun shines. Every fight is the biggest fight of my life.”

Kapel: “The bulk of my career I’ve fought with no audience, that’s something I’m familiar with, and a lot of time I was facing the hometown person so when they were winning the fans cheered and when I was winning they were silent, so I welcome the silence.”

Kapel: “I want to fight the best, and the best would be the champion. I think Mousasi is one of the greatest Middleweights of all time, Lovato was great, Tokov is kind of slept on, but my job is to go out there and fight the man I’m contracted for. That’s all I’m focused on.”

Kapel: “I think I’m going to be making him make bad shots, and that’ll get him tired, but he’ll probably get me down once or twice. The key is not getting into a bad position if or when he takes me down. He could take me down and break my shoulder, you never know. You train for what you can and then you surrender the outcome to the cosmos.”

Valentin Moldavsky: “Yes most definitely at this point in the career Roy Nelson is the biggest name that I’ve fought. I’ve never taken an opponent lightly. One punch can change the outcome of a fight. I’ve never taken anyone lightly and I’m not taking Roy lightly either.”

Moldavsky: “I really don’t know what to expect. I’ll stand if he wants to stand, grapple if he wants to grapple, wrestle if he wants to wrestle. Whatever he wants, I’m ready for it.”

Moldavsky: “I don’t know (how having no audience will be). Obviously the crowd adds a certain degree of energy but it also adds some pressure. Maybe it’s going to be easier without a crowd but I don’t know. I’ve never fought without a crowd before.”

Moldavsky: “The pandemic had some effect on our preparation but all in all it wasn’t that bad, and I’m ready for the fight. I’m a Heavyweight so I don’t have to cut weight.”

Moldavsky: “I can’t predict how the fight will go. Obviously I’d like to knock him out in the first round but that may not be possible. You’ll see how the fight goes in three days. I’m hoping for a quick fight so I can have one more fight before the end of the year.”

Moldavsky: “I don’t know if (Sambo) is the best but Sambo practitioners are doing well worldwide in MMA so it’s a good base for mixed martial arts.”

John Salter: “I hope so. I think a win here is going to be huge just to get everybody rolling and then to get two more wins in four days (for our team) is going to be huge for us. It was ten days we had to deal with (a teammate testing positive) but everything’s been good, no issues since, so we’ve been blessed on the backside of that. Obviously everybody’s having to make sacrifices to be here but I’m just happy to be here and be able to fight. Bellator going through this whole process is great and I really appreciate it.”

Salter: “Obviously I’m the favorite going in but he (Kapel) is a tough guy with a lot of wins. I’ve got to treat it like a title fight. I wish we could have had that (Mousasi and Lima) fight so we’ve have some answers on what comes next but hopefully we can get everything rolling pretty quick. I think it only makes sense, we can’t let the title sit vacant forever, me and Lima makes sense. I think he doesn’t want to stay idle too.”

Salter: “I want that title. I’m not looking at that (retirement) and if I ever say that my wife won’t let me. I’m not thinking about retirement right now.”

Salter: “It’s going to be very interesting (with no fans). At the end of the day you put that all out of your head when you get in there anyway. I kind of blew my arms out on a choke with Van Steenis that wasn’t there because of how the crowd reacted, so hopefully I won’t make that kind of mistake.”

Salter: “I always work on everything evenly. I haven’t worked on (striking) more, perhaps a little differently. A while ago I threw a lot more drilling than anything else, then I went back to pad work, now I’ve done more drilling — moving my head, landing my shots. I think it’s a positive in that aspect. I’m still doing pad work but more on the drill side.”

Salter: “I’ve tried to change a lot (since Lovato). I’ve got a conditioning coach, and then in my last fight I faded again there, so I think I’ve found that hole and tried to clean that up.”

Roy Nelson: “I know where I stand at Heavyweight in UFC, Bellator, ONE FC, so I can keep going whether or not I win.”

Nelson: “I think the advantage changes your fight style, because you’re not going out there to please the fans, you’re getting the W any way you can. When you have fans it’s like a rock and roll concert, you’ve got to make everybody happy. I think having no fans just makes it a little bit easier on the game plan.”

Nelson: “I was living vicariously through Tim (Johnson) because I’ve been asking for the Matt fight. Telling Tim exactly how to beat him and get the job done and execute a game plan as flawless (was good) except for you know the head butt. I didn’t really have Tim this training camp because this was a short notice fight for me. I got like one good sparring session in with him.”

Nelson: “Finding a gym is really hard now (since the pandemic). Back then you could hit a gym by throwing a rock. I’ve always wanted to fight Fedor but if I get past Moldavsky or when I do I think it’s time for me to start picking fights as opposed to whoever they give me.”

Nelson: “The fans are the ones who pay the bills but it’s different now, it’s TV stuff, so you just go out and win because that’s all that matters — the network.”

Nelson: “There are fights that I want and people I want to beat up so that’s what it is. It’s the fight game. Fedor is No. 1, but Matt Mitrione, I just want to beat him up and make some money. Cheick Kongo would be another. I’d like to give him a chance to knock me out now.”

Julia Budd: “(Family is) very important. The people around me picked me up. That community picked me up. It right away made it feel special. Even though I lost (to Cyborg) it was important to have people who loved me around me. It’s important to have people who have your back with wins or losses.”

Budd: “Bellator is doing an amazing job. I feel safe here. They’re doing a really amazing job and I’m confident. I’d come back and fight here over and over again during this time if I had to.”

Budd: “I don’t make those calls. I’ve got to go out there on Friday and make a statement about why I belong in there (for the title).”

Budd: “(A women’s grand prix) would be amazing, super exciting, and I’ve love to be a part of it.”

Budd: “(My husband) is a warrior. He’s been there through my whole career, kickboxing and MMA. We’re partners in life and in the cage. He’s helped me in every area. I think not taking big breaks off between fights, healthy nutrition, stay strong mentally and emotionally is key. As I got older I realized I’ve got to take care of injuries and cover every base.”

Budd: “I’m focused on my fight Friday night. I’ve got to make a statement before I even look at that, but being champion again is my ultimate goal. Friday night is important though and that’s what I’m focused on.”

Budd: “I don’t want to lose to the best of the best. None of those losses are something that sits well with me. Losing sucks. I’m not happy with any of those losses on my record.”

Ryan Bader: “For me I’ve wrestled in front of a couple hundred of people, dead quiet. Been on The Ultimate Fighter, 30-40 people in a warehouse, so I’m actually relishing this whole week. I get to walk out there on Friday like it’s a hard morning spar. Me and my corner speak different languages, so I can tune them out, and all the hoopla is gone. I’m excited about it.”

Bader: “We got tested every couple of weeks, we’re clean, make sure everybody is safe. I didn’t want to train this long and have the fight be canceled due to COVID. I usually bring a decent amount of Brazilians in but this time I just kept to the crew I’m working with.”

Bader: “We had a fight booked in May and then COVID hit. Nemkov is from Russia, the whole travel ban, all that. Four weeks ago I learned we’re going back down to Light Heavyweight. I kept myself at a good weight in between so it wasn’t all that bad. Just getting that last little bit off. Eating clean, eating healthy, and I think that’s upped my game a little bit whereas at Heavyweight if I wanted to eat it I’d eat it.”

Bader: “Look at my resume. Look at who I’ve beat. Look at my wins. Look at how I’ve grown the last three to four years. I’m not fighting bums, I’m fighting the best competition out there. I was Top 5 in UFC and I’ve grown so much since then.”

Bader: “I was prepared for a fight. Scott Coker and I were trying to get that RIZIN fight on the New Year’s card. We were trying for February in Arizona and the venue fell through. We were set for May and then COVID hit. Luckily we did our tests we’re all good. We have one more, weigh ins are tomorrow, and we’re here finally. I’m just very fortunate right now.”

Bader: “I know how good I am, my team knows how good I am, Bellator knows how good I am. But a lot of people are asking ‘Is he the best at 205?’ with Jones going up right now, and I think I am. Nemkov he’s one of those guys, he’s next, he’s an up-and-comer. He’ll be a champ one day but he won’t be on Friday. It may be for whose the best Light Heavyweight in the world but I’m looking to go in there and win regardless.”

Bader: “I’m hearing Nemkov is Bader’s protege, this and that, I don’t give a shit really. It’s not like Fedor can tag in and help him win.”

Check out the complete Bellator 244: “Bader vs. Nemkov” card below:

  • Light Heavyweight Main Event: Ryan Bader (27-5, 1 NC) vs. Vadim Nemkov (11-2)
  • Featherweight Co-Main Event: Julia Budd (13-3) vs. Jessy Miele (9-3)
  • Heavyweight Main Card Bout: Roy Nelson (23-19) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (9-1)
  • Middleweight Prelims Bout: John Salter (17-4) vs. Andrew Kapel (15-6)
  • Lightweight Prelims Bout: Adam Piccolotti (12-3) vs. Sidney Outlaw (14-4)
  • Bantamweight Prelims Bout: Erik Perez (19-7) vs. Joshua Hill (19-3)
  • Featherweight Prelims Bout: Lucas Brennan (2-0) vs. Will Smith (3-1)
  • Lightweight Prelims Bout: Vladimir Tokov (7-0) vs. Chris Gonzalez (4-4)
  • Lightweight Prelims Bout: Lance Gibson Jr. (3-0) vs. Shane Kruchten (12-5)

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.