November’s Bellator 288 features two tantalizing title fights.
In one, 205-pound champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1NC) and top contender Corey Anderson (16-5, 1NC) will duke it out in a rematch of the promotion’s featherweight Grand Prix final. In the other, Brazilian Patricky Pitbull (24-10) will be aiming for lightweight gold when he takes on undefeated Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0).
Promotion officials announced the news in a press release on Monday. Bellator 288 will take place at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, November 18, 2022.
Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 was enforced as the pair’s first meeting ended in a no-contest due to an accidental headbutt. Since the bout didn’t make it past the third round, the judges were removed from the equation. Incredibly, Anderson was likely on his way to a dominant decision win at Bellator 277 in April and almost certainly would have won if the foul happened later in the fight. However, Overtime proved to be a good sport by actually warning the referee about the incident – even though it would cost him his shot at gold, at least for the time being.
Nemkov defeated former champion Phil Davis and Julius Anglikas en route to the Grand Prix final. Anderson defeated Dovletzhan Yagshimuradov and former champion Ryan Bader. Anderson hails from nearby Rockford, IL, and will essentially be fighting in his own backyard during the bout.
The up-and-coming Usman Nurmagomedov is the cousin of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and has a perfect 15-fight pro career. Most recently, he took just under three minutes to eliminate Team Alpha Male’s Chris Gonzalez via submission. However, Pitbull will represent his toughest test yet.
The Brazilian champion was due to defend his title against Sydney Outlaw last month but was forced to pull out due to injury. Outlaw instead fought Tofiq Musayev, losing by knockout in less than 30 seconds.