Bellator 288 results: Vadim Nemkov shuts out Corey Anderson, Usman Nurmagomedov tames Patricky Pitbull


It was a banner night for Russian MMA as Vadim Nemkov retained his light heayweight title and Usman Nurmagomedov captured the lightweight belt at Bellator 288.

Nemkov hobbled Anderson with leg kicks and denied all 15 takedown attempts from Anderson, taking home 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 scores to win the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix for a $1 million payout.

” I was prepared,” Nemkov stated via translator afterward. “I wasn’t distracted, and I kept a very high pace. Like I said, in rematches, I never lose, and you guys didn’t believe me.”

Nemkov will face Yoel Romero in Bellator’s recently confirmed return to CBS at Bellator 290 on Feb. 4, Bellator commentator John McCarthy announced in the cage after the light heavyweight headliner.

Anderson maintained the pressure, trying to find takedown opportunities. Every time he got close, Nemkov was ready for his single-leg setups and leg traps. That left Anderson to slug it out, and Nemkov took an early lead with better distance management. Anderson was hit with a stiff jab, and then a two-step one-two. Anderson got a wheel kick at the final.

Anderson and Nemkov clashed for the second consecutive fight. Anderson attempted takedowns while Anderson did the same. However, this time there wasn’t a cut as they did in the first fight. This delayed Bellator’s grand prix. Anderson had been winning the first fight – on the second occasion, he was repeatedly a step behind.

A calf kick in Round 4 didn’t help matters at all for the American, who kept a brave face as his leg stiffened from more punishment. The fight ended in the same way he had spent it: chasing after his opponent and taking back counters.

Nurmagomedov freezes Pitbull

At 24, Nurmagomedov joined his older cousin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, as an undefeated MMA champion with a shutout of Patricky Pitbull in the Bellator 288 co-main event.

The young Nurmagomedov was sniping from a distance, before turning into takedowns that rendered Pitbull ineffective. The final scores were 50-45 and 50-44 twice for the new Bellator lightweight champion, who extends his unbeaten record to 16-0 in his fifth appearance in the promotion.

Pitbull was almost finished by Nurmagomedov, who ended the second round in a frenzy of elbows. The referee watched closely as the action unfolded. Pitbull shut down the subsequent shot in the third, but it wasn’t until the fifth round that he came alive. Patricky threw all the strikes and was urged by Patricio Pitbull his brother. Unfortunately for him, that opened him up for the takedown, and he spent the next several minutes on his back, trying to avoid the worst. He eventually managed to reverse his position to get back on his feet after giving up the mount in order to avoid a choke. One last gasp just wasn’t enough to catch Nurmagomedov, who smiled at his opponent and congratulated him.

One could imagine Khabib Nurmagomedov somewhere smiling, but thanks to Usman’s corner, UFC welterweight Abubakar Nurmagomedov, the retired UFC lightweight champion joined in his cousin’s celebration via FaceTime.

Khizriev holds off late surge from Weichel

Daniel Weichel needed to do something, and fast, after getting picked apart by Timur Khizriev on the feet for their first 10 minutes together. Khizriev, unlike many Dagestani friends, was comfortable walking on his own feet. He caught Weichel repeatedly on the counter. With one round to work, Weichel got very close to turning the tables with a takedown and back-take; Khizriev was forced to defend his neck, leg (via Suloev stretch), and his arm. Khizriev was unable to move forward after a flying knee, which he had slubbed in his first two frames. It was too little too late, however, and Khizriev hung in for the decision win. Two of three judges didn’t even give Weichel the credit for his late surge, offering unanimous scorecards for the Dagestani fighter via 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

James survives choke, breaks Fortune

Daniel James refused to be resume tinsel for Tyrell Fortune and stung the Bellator heavyweight vet early in the second round. James spent some time on the canvas early, the victim of Fortune’s formidable wrestling skills. When he tried to escape to his feet, Fortune set up a rear-naked choke and squeezed for dear life. James was only seconds away from being out but Fortune’s hand control enabled him to survive in the reverse position. When they met in the center of the cage in the second round, an exchange of punches did not favor Fortune, and the right uppercut he took sent him to the canvas. After a series of vicious follow-up elbows, Fortune was left with his second loss in his career.

Chokheli takes Faraldo’s 0

Levan Chokheli exposed a gap in knockout artist Roman Faraldo’s skills, repeatedly taking him to the canvas when the action got too intense. Faraldo remained upright during several crucial takedown attempts. However, a second cost him a point and he was unable to finish Chokheli. Faraldo rode his mount after rattling Georgian in the second. But he ran out of time. Faraldo ran out of gas by the third round. He walked into the counters and lost the takedown. Chokheli held top position and cruised to the finish line, earning unanimous 29-27 scores.

After a defeat against Goiti Yamauchi Chokheli was back in the win column, and Faraldo lost his first professional fight after five consecutive Bellator bouts.

Full Bellator 288 results:

Vadim Nemkov def. Corey Anderson via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)

Usman Nurmagomedov def. Patricky Pitbull via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44)

Timur Khizriev def. Daniel Weichel via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Daniel James def. Tyrell Fortune via TKO (elbows) – Round 2, 0:27

Levan Chokheli def. Roman Faraldo via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

Imamshafi Aliev def. Sean Fallon via TKO (cut) – Round 1, 3:20

Killys Mota def. Jairo Pacheco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Archie Colgan def. Jesse Hannam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:50

Sullivan Cauley def. Jay Radick via KO (punches) – Round 1, 1:01

Jordan Newman def. Jayden Taulker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:20

Laird Anderson def. Rob Fenicle via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:28

Isaiah Hokit def. Matias Nader via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:48

Wladmir Gouvea def. Kory Moegenburg via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:46