Usman Nurmagomedov has just extended his undefeated record and claimed his first major professional MMA title as the new Bellator Lightweight world champion at Bellator 288. Nurmagomedov was coming into the fight with a perfect 15-0 record and a string of four wins in the Bellator cage, which earned him a shot against the reigning champion Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire. Usman is the cousin of UFC Hall of Famer and retired MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, and he showed at Bellator 288 that the talent in the cage does run in the family. He demolished Freire on route to a unanimous decision victory and didn’t drop a single round in the process.
This fight served as the co-main event for the night, as the headline fight was the culmination of the Bellator Light-Heavyweight grand prix. Vadim Nemkov was the reigning champion coming into the fight and he put that belt on the line in every fight of the grand prix, beating back both Phil Davis and Julius Anglickus on his way to the final. Nemkov met Corey Anderson in the final at Bellator 287 but unfortunately the fight was ruled a no contest due to an accidental clash of heads and the pair had to fight again at this event to reach a satisfying conclusion. Nemkov won a minimum of three rounds on the judge’s scorecards with two of them awarding him four rounds and he left the arena as the Light-Heavyweight champion for the fifth time in a row.
Bellator 288 Full Results
Vadim Nemkov defeats Corey Anderson via Decision – Unanimous (48-48, 49-46, 49-46)
Vadim Nemkov retains the Bellator Light-Heavyweight World Championship
Usman Nurmagomedov defeats Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire via Decision – Unanimous (50-45, 50-44, 50-44)
Usman Nurmagomedov becomes the new Bellator Lightweight World Champion
Timur Khizriev defeats Daniel Weichel via Decision – Unanimous (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Daniel James defeats Tyrell Fortune via TKO – Punches and Elbows (Round 2, 0:27)
Levan Chokheli defeats Roman Faraldo via Decision – Unanimous (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Imamshafi Aliev defeats Sean Fallon via TKO – Doctor’s Stoppage (Round 1, 3:20)
Killys Mota defeats Jairo Pachecho via Decision – Unanimous (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Archie Colgan defeats Jesse Hannam via TKO – Punches (Round 1, 0:50)
Sullivan Cauley defeats Jay Radick via KO – Punch (Round 1, 1:01)
Jordan Newman defeats Jayden Taulker via Submission – Rear-naked Choke (Round 2, 3:20)
Laird Anderson defeats Rob Fenicle via TKO – Elbows and Punches (Round 2, 2:28)
Isaiah Hokit defeats Matias Nader via TKO – Punches (Round 2, 3:48)
Vlad Gouvea defeats Kory Moegenburg via TKO – Knee and Punches (Round 2, 1:46)
The full Bellator 288 event replay, including Usman Nurmagomedov becoming the new Bellator Lightweight World Champion, will be available to watch on Showtime, click here to see more.