The two previously met at Bellator 277 in April, but the match ended in a no contest due to an accidental clash of heads in the final seconds of the third round. On Friday, Nemkov left no doubt inside Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
Nemkov fended off every takedown attempt by Anderson in the fight and delivered a heavy dose of leg kicks. After five rounds, it was clear who had won. The judges scored the bout 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46. With the win, Nemkov retained his 205-pound title, won the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, and banked a $1 million payday.
In the co-main event, Usman Nurmagomedov captured the lightweight world title with a dominating win over Patricky Pitbull. The 24-year old repeatedly took Pitbull down stifling the former champion’s ability to inflict damage. In the closing moments of the second round, Nurmagomedov nearly stopped Pitbull with a series of elbows.
Nurmagomedov shut Pitbull out on the scorecards. The judges scored the match 50–45, 50–44, and 50–44.
Bellator 288 Official 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