On the night of November 19 Moscow time, the 288th numbered Bellator tournament will be held in Chicago (USA). The show will undoubtedly arouse great interest in Russia, because domestic fighters will fight in two title fights. What's more, in both bouts, the champions will go toe-to-toe with contenders #1, making the event poster even more polished.
Nemkov vs. Anderson
Light heavyweight title bout/Final Organization Grand Prix
The high-profile story of the Bellator light heavyweight tournament draws to a close. It’s hard to say whether it’s possible to figure something like this in the UFC, given the mass of canceled fights and the difference in the leagues’ approaches to organizing fights (well, the conditional Jiří Prochazka with the seventh rating at the quarterfinal stage cannot fight).
However, the incentive to receive one million dollars would be of interest to the fighters of the best league in the world. And the fans won't be left out. Just imagine a Dana White organization bantamweight mini-tournament: Aljamain Sterling, Sean O'Malley, Merab Dvalishvili, Petr Yan, Marlon Vera, Corey Sandhagen, TJ Dillashaw, Rob Font… Cool idea!
On Saturday, everything will depend on the stalls, which Anderson will definitely bet on. If Vadim really worked on protection against transfers, a completely different scenario awaits us and the favorite who got angry at the Last Emperor. If Corey continues to dominate on the lower floor, then the quotes of bookmakers for the victory of the US representative can rapidly crawl down during the battle.
Odds: 1.5 and 2.5 are not in favor of the Russian champion.
Pitbull — Nurmagomedov
Fight for the lightweight titleThe hardest autumn for the newly minted coach Khabib Nurmagomedov. In October, he helped Islam Makhachev make history in the UFC and defeat Charles Oliveira ahead of schedule in a title fight, and next weekend he will face a new test. Undefeated brother Usman will try to take the title from the formidable Brazilian Patrick “Pitbull” Freire. While the champion complains about attacks in social networks from the Russians, our fighter, despite the weak opposition (somewhere we have already heard this), opens up as a total favorite and rushes ahead for the 16th victory in professional MMA.
Note that that the second most important event of the evening is insured by the third number of the light division Tofik Musaev. The Azerbaijani has never fought Usman, but he defeated Patrick by unanimous decision in the RIZIN Asian League.
Odds: bookmakers don't believe in the Brazilian at all. 1.2 on Nurmagomedov and 5.4 on Pitbull.
Who else will fight in Chicago?
Timur Khizriev. The undefeated Russian will make his Bellator debut with an 11-0 record. And immediately in the third most important event of the evening: the most experienced German Daniel Weichel, who has 55 professional fights to his credit, will face the domestic featherweight.
Khasan Askhabov ( duel canceled*). In the prelims, a fighter of Chechen origin with the formidable nickname Black Wolf will perform (on the Sherdog portal it is indicated that Khasan competes under the flag of Luxembourg). For him, as for Khizriev, the confrontation in the capital of jazz will be the first in the league of Scott Cocker.
Imamshafi Aliyev. Another unbeaten debutant from Russia (7-0), a representative of the Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov martial arts school and a “graduate” of the Khabib Eagle FC promotion. In January 2021, Orel said about Aliyev that a few years ago the athlete was selling galoshes at the market, and now he is plowing with might and main for an invitation to the UFC.
*UPD: We won't see Askhabov at the Chicago show. The fighter did not make weight and now intends to move up to the lightweight division.
Full card Bellator 288
Main card :
Vadim Nemkov – Corey Anderson;
Patrics Pitbull — Usman Nurmagomedov;
Daniel Weichel — Timur Khizriev;
Tyrel Fortune – Daniel James;
Roman Faraldo – Levan Chokheli.
Otto Rodriguez — Khasan Askhabov;
Imamshafi Aliyev – Sean Connor Fallon; >Archie Colgan to Jesse Hunnam;
Lucas Brennan to Nick Talavera;
Sullivan Cowley – Jay Radick;
Jordan Newman – Jayden Tulker;
Laird Anderson – Rob Fenicle;
Isaiah Hookit — Matthias Nader;
Vladimir Gouvea — Corey Moegenburg.
What time does the event start
Preview card starts at 02:00 Moscow time. We will see the five main fights of the evening after 7 a.m. Moscow time, and the championship confrontations – no earlier than 8:00.
As absurd as it may be sounded, but legal broadcasts could not be found. In the spring, after the aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, ShowTime, which broadcasts the main cards of American promotion events, suspended sending a signal for broadcasting in Russia.