LOS ANGELES — As BELLATOR’s return to the Windy City approaches, the promotion has announced the full lineup of preliminary bouts slated to take place before the event’s hugely consequential, two title fight-led main card.
On Friday, Nov. 18, BELLATOR 288 brings two world championship bouts to Wintrust Arena in Chicago, when incumbent light heavyweight titlist Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) immediately rematches No. 1-ranked Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC) in the BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final, while Patricky “Pitbull” (24-10) defends his lightweight belt against undefeated, No. 1-ranked Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0).
In an update to the main card, former featherweight title challenger and No. 7-ranked Daniel Weichel (42-13) faces promotional newcomer Timur Khizriev (11-0), who steps in to replace fellow Dagestani fighter Akhmed Magomedov (10-0, 1 NC).
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 / 6 p.m. PT. The preliminary portion of the card will begin three hours prior across the BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel, Showtime Sports YouTube Channel, and Pluto TV.
Tickets are on sale now and available at Bellator.com and Ticketmaster.
Joining BELLATOR 288 will be one of BELLATOR’s brightest prospects, undefeated 26-year-old light heavyweight Sullivan “Sully” Cauley (4-0). The protégé of BELLATOR heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and No. 10-ranked light heavyweight will face fellow unbeaten American Jay Radick (3-0). Cauley will put his four-fight, first-round knockout streak on the line in this preliminary bout as he welcomes the six-foot-five Radick to the BELLATOR cage.
In an all-Brazilian lightweight matchup guaranteed to deliver fireworks, the always entertaining Killys Mota (13-3) will look to build off his BELLATOR 282 victory over Dan Moret (15-8) against promotional newcomer and countryman Jairo “Mumuzinho” Pachecho (7-0). Mota has taken his game to the next level after joining American Top Team, and his potential to disrupt the division is evidenced by his past wins over Moret, Mandel Nallo,andBobby Lee. Opposite him will be Pachecho, who at just 25 years old has looked sensational through seven professional outings. The BELLATOR debutant seeks to add a third straight stoppage to his resume in Chicago.
Additionally, a featherweight bout between highly-touted undefeated American Kickboxing Academy black belt Laid Anderson (2-0) and one-time BELLATOR alumnus Rob “Big Papagiorgio” Fenicle (2-2) will take place on the preliminary portion of BELLATOR 288.
The full lineup for BELLATOR 288: Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 / Pitbull vs. Nurmagomedov is as follows:
BELLATOR 288: NEMKOV VS. ANDERSON 2 / PITBULL VS. NURMAGOMEDOV MAIN CARD:
SHOWTIME Friday, Nov. 18 – 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT
Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final: C-Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) vs. #1-Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC)
Lightweight World Title Bout: C-Patricky Pitbull (24-10) vs. #1-Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0)
Featherweight Bout: #7-Daniel Weichel (42-13) vs. Timur Khizriev (11-0)
Heavyweight Bout: #5-Tyrell Fortune (12-2, 1 NC) vs. Daniel James (13-6-1)
Welterweight Bout: #10-Roman Faraldo (8-0) vs. Levan Chokheli (10-2, 1 NC)
BELLATOR 288: NEMKOV VS. ANDERSON 2 / PITBULL VS. NURMAGOMEDOV PRELIMINARY CARD:
BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel | Pluto TV
6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
Featherweight Bout: Otto Rodrigues (13-1) vs. Khasan Askhabov (23-2)
Middleweight Bout: Imamshafi Aliev (8-0) vs. Sean Fallon (16-7)
Lightweight Bout: Killys Mota (13-3) vs. Jairo Pachecho (7-0)
Bantamweight Bout: Jaylon Bates (6-0) vs. Jornel Lugo (8-1)
Lightweight Bout: Archie Colgan (5-0) vs. Jesse Hannam (2-1)
Featherweight Bout: #10-Lucas Brennan (7-0) vs. Nick Talavera (5-1)
Light Heavyweight Bout: #10-Sullivan Cauley (4-0) vs. Jay Radick (3-0)
Middleweight Bout: Jordan Newman (4-0) vs. Jayden Taulker (2-2)
Featherweight Bout: Laird Anderson (2-0) vs. Rob Fenicle (2-2)
Featherweight Bout: Isaiah Hokit (1-1) vs. Matias Nader (3-0)
Heavyweight Bout: Wladmir Gouvea (Debut) vs. Kory Moegenburg (2-3)