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Bellator 288 lineup set with three main card additions for November 18 event in Chicago

Vadim Nemkov rematches Corey Anderson for light heavyweight title in $1 million grand prix finale in night's main event.

LOS ANGELES — On Friday, Nov. 18, Bellator 288 brings two world championship bouts to the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, when incumbent light heavyweight titlist Vadim Nemkov (15-2) immediately rematches No. 1-ranked Corey Anderson (16-5) in the Bellator light heavyweight world grand prix final, while Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (24-10) defends his lightweight world championship against undefeated, No. 1-ranked Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0).

In addition, three main card bouts have been confirmed for the massive event, with the news that 16-fight Bellator veteran and No. 7-ranked Daniel Weichel (42-13) will face undefeated Akhmed Magomedov (9-0) at featherweight. Moving to the top of Bellator's weight classes, homegrown talent, and No. 5-ranked Tyrell Fortune (12-2) goes toe-to-toe with Chicago's own Daniel James (13-6-1) at heavyweight, and American Top Team's No. 10-ranked Roman Faraldo (8-0) will look to keep his unblemished professional record when he faces his toughest test to date against Georgian Levan Chokheli (10-2) at welterweight.

The five-fight main card of "Bellator 288: Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 / Pitbull vs. Nurmagomedov" airs live on Showtime beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

The preliminary portion of Bellator 288 is stacked with elite prospects, regional talent, and established veterans and can be seen on the Bellator MMA YouTube Channel, Showtime Sports YouTube Channel, and Pluto TV beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

In Bellator's deep bantamweight division, an extremely compelling pairing is set to take place between undefeated Team Body Shop fighter Jaylon Bates (6-0) and world grand prix participant Jornel Lugo (8-1), out of Kill Cliff FC in Florida.

Three featherweight fights will represent the division currently championed by Patricio "Pitbull," when unbeaten No. 10-ranked Lucas Brennan (7-0) meets Nick Talavera (5-1), Brazil's Otto Rodrigues (13-1) takes on American Top Team's Khasan Askhabov (23-2), and Jackson Wink's Isaiah Hokit (1-1) looks to extend his winning streak against Ecuador's Matias Nader (3-0). 

At lightweight, the highly touted BIG 12 Champion out of the University of Wyoming, Archie "King" Colgan (5-0), will return to action against Jesse Hannam (2-1) of Iowa. Moving on to middleweight, Roufusport's Jordan Newman (4-0) will strap on the Bellator gloves for the fifth time when he fights Ohio's Jayden Taulker (2-2), while Imamshafi Aliev (8-0) and Sean Fallon (16-7) will make their Bellator debuts.

Rounding out the preliminary action, Vlad Gouvea will make his Bellator and professional debut at heavyweight when he slugs it out against Kory "The Monster" Moegenburg (2-3).

The full Bellator 288 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson – light heavyweight world grand prix final
  • Champ Patricky "Pitbull" Freire vs. Usman Nurmagomedov – for lightweight title
  • Daniel Weichel vs. Akhmed Magomedov
  • Tyrell Fortune vs. Daniel James
  • Roman Faraldo vs. Levan Chokheli


  • Otto Rodrigues vs. Khasan Askhabov
  • Lucas Brennan vs. Nick Talavera
  • Imamshafi Aliev vs. Sean Fallon
  • Archie Colgan vs. Jesse Hannam
  • Jaylon Bates vs. Jornel Lugo
  • Jordan Newman vs. Jayden Taulker
  • Isaiah Hokit vs. Matias Nader
  • Vlad Gouvea vs. Kory Moegenburg