Former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov, who has an active contract with the American organization, answered the question of whether he is ready to share the cage with his compatriot Vadim Nemkov, who officially announced his move to the heavyweight category.
“This is the kind of sports story that takes place,” the Russian heavyweight said in an interview RB Sport. “If we talk about desire, I wouldn’t want to fight with my guys, but if life brings you together, those are the rules of the game – you’re not going to say no, no matter what you have inside. You can refuse – someone else will fight.”
Minakov also supported Nemkov’s decision to vacate his Bellator bantamweight title and move up to the heavyweight division.
“It’s more than the right decision. If your weight allows you to move up to heavyweight, why force your body to burn? Especially when you basically beat the heavyweight champion, and you realize that you can win the heavyweight belt, and Nemkov will win it, I’m more than sure”
The Russian confirmed that he plans to return to the cage and fight before the end of the year.
“There is no news yet, but there is an intention to hold the next fight before the New Year. I was thinking quite seriously about leaving the sport, but over the last year and a half I realized that I physiologically need it”
Vitaly Minakov, 38, had his last fight in October 2021 at Bellator 269 in Moscow, losing by technical knockout in the third round to Said Souma of Suriname due to a finger injury.