On Friday, November 18, BELLATOR 288 brings two world championship bouts to Wintrust Arena in Chicago, when incumbent light heavyweight titlist Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) immediately rematches No. 1-ranked Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC) in the BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final, while Patricky “Pitbull” (24-10) defends his lightweight belt against undefeated, No. 1-ranked Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0). Two titles. One night. Do not miss this epic night of fights!
Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson 2
BELLATOR returns to the Windy City for the first time since 2019, and Illinois fight fans will find it to be well worth the wait, as 205-lb. champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC), and No. 1-ranked Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC) square off in the highly anticipated BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final, a rematch after their first Grand Prix Final fight ended in a No Contest.
Vadim Nemkov, 30, of Russia is eager to make the most of his opportunity against Anderson following the dissatisfaction of their first fight. Many believe Anderson was on his way to becoming the new BELLATOR champion, but an accidental headbutt ended the fight just five seconds prematurely. Adamant that he will “correct his mistakes,” Nemkov has been next to perfect in his BELLATOR tenure. The protégé of the legendary Fedor Emelianenko is unbeaten in eight BELLATOR fights, including a title-clinching knockout victory over heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in August 2020, stoppages of former champions Liam McGeary and Rafael Carvalho, and two sound defeats over Phil Davis. Facing off with Anderson again allows Nemkov the opportunity to erase the lone semi-blemish of his record.
Rockford, Ill’s, Corey Anderson believes that he would have won the match in its later rounds if not for the headbutt that stopped the fight with just five seconds remaining in the third frame. The 32-year-old’s path to the BELLATOR title fight was dominant, outclassing Dutch star Melvin Manhoef in his BELLATOR debut before knocking out Grand Prix opponents Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov and Bader to reach Nemkov in the finals.
Patricky Pitbull vs. Usman Nurmagomedov
Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire, 36, captured the title in November by knocking out Ireland’s Peter Queally in the second round of their BELLATOR 270 rematch. ‘Pitbull’ will look to defend his title for the first time against the undefeated Nurmagomedov. With a victory, Pitbull would retain his title and maintain his and his brother Patricio’s status as the lone brothers to simultaneously hold MMA world championships.
Fresh off a blistering first-round submission victory against Chris Gonzalez at last month’s BELLATOR 283, No. 1-ranked lightweight contender Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0) will look to fulfill the prophecy foretold by his cousin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and become the BELLATOR’s lightweight champion. At just 24 years old, Nurmagomedov’s rapid rise to the top of the division has been thrilling and he now sets his sights on dethroning Pitbull in the co-main event of the blockbuster BELLATOR 288 event, becoming BELLATOR’s youngest reigning champion in the process.
BELLATOR MMA is a leading global mixed martial arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, BELLATOR events take place in major cities worldwide and can be seen on television in over 160 countries to an available audience of over one billion people. In the United States, BELLATOR can be seen on SHOWTIME. BELLATOR is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity, and commission relations. BELLATOR is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Paramount, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.
Prelims Start at 5 PM
Doors Open at 4:30 PM
Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.com or at the Box Office.