CHICAGO – After a memorable return to Chicago, Bellator 288 is officially in the books.
A partisan crowd was not enough to earn No. 1-ranked Corey Anderson (16-5) his first world championship and a $1 million grand prize for winning the Bellator world grand prix. Incumbent light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (16-2) defeated the Illinois native via unanimous decision to retain the belt and officially punch his ticket to a matchup against Yoel Romero on Feb. 4, 2023 in Los Angeles.
In the evening's co-main event, No. 1-ranked lightweight Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0) cruised to a unanimous decision win over Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (24-11), remaining undefeated to start his young career and in the process becoming a world champion for the first time. He will now make the first defense of his newly won title in next year's Bellator lightweight world grand prix.
Complete Bellator 288 results include:
- Vadim Nemkov def. Corey Anderson via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) – light heavyweight grand prix final; to defend light heavyweight title
- Usman Nurmagomedov def. Patricky Pitbull via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44) – to claim lightweight title
- Timur Khizriev def. Daniel Weichel via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Daniel James def. Tyrell Fortune via TKO (strikes) – 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 (strikes) – Round 1, 3:20
- Killys Mota def. Jairo Pachecho via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Archie Colgan def. Jesse Hannam via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:50
- Sullivan Cauley def. Jay Radick via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:01
- Laird Anderson def. Rob Fenicle via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:28
- Isaiah Hokit def. Matias Nader via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:48
- Wladmir Gouvea def. Kory Moegenburg via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:46