- What: Bellator 288
- Date: Friday, November, 18 2022
- Location: Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Showtime
Bellator is in Chicago on Friday, November 18 for Bellator 288. The fight card features two title bouts at the top of the Showtime event. In the main event, Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson battle for the Bellator light heavyweight crown. In the evening’s co-headliner, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire puts his Bellator lightweight title on the line against Usman Nurmagomedov, who is the cousin of all-time UFC great, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Here is some background on the card’s headlining fighters before we discuss the Bellator 288 betting breakdown.
The first time Nemkov and Anderson faced off it looked as if Anderson was going to walk away $1 million and the light heavyweight crown. Anderson was dominating the matchup but a clash of heads and Anderson’s willingness to tell the referee that was the reason a cut had opened on Nemkov’s head caused a pause in the bout. After looking at the cut the doctor waved off the fight with five seconds left in the third and final round. With that, the bout ended as a no contest. Nemkov kept his title and the $1 million prize went back into escrow. The two run things back on Friday at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Il. The Bellator light heavyweight title — and the $1 million Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix prize will also be up for grabs.
Before we look at the best bets for the Bellator 288 main event matchup between Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson and the co-main event of Patricky Pitbull and Usman Nurmagomedov, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.
Bellator 288 picks: Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson
Vadim Nemkov vs. Corey Anderson breakdown and analysis
Unlike the first fight between these two, the rematch is scheduled for five rounds. That fact favors Corey Anderson over Vadim Nemkov. Anderson has good cardio, but what gives him the significant edge in this contest is his wrestling, ability to keep the fight on the mat and his use of ground strikes. Anderson shoots a lot of takedowns and when he lands one of those takedowns, it’s hard for his opponents to get off the mat. During his UFC career Anderson landed a UFC light heavyweight record 53 takedowns. He also is the No. 7 fighter in UFC light heavyweight history in top position time at 42:15.
Nemkov is the better striker, but he can’t just concentrate on his striking in this fight because of the takedown threats of his opponent. That worry could make him reluctant to engage.
I think the best bet in the Bellator 288 main event is Corey Anderson to score a ground strike knockout win in the second half of the contest.
Best Bellator 288 main event picks: Corey Anderson to defeat Vadim Nemkov.
Bellator 288 picks: Patricky Pitbull vs. Usman Nurmagomedov
Patricky Pitbull vs. Usman Nurmagomedov breakdown and analysis
Patricky Pitbull fell short in his bid to win the Bellator lightweight title in 2016 when Michael Chandler knocked him out. However, Pitbull won the title his younger brother Patricio vacated in 2021 with a TKO win over Peter Queally. On Friday, the longtime Bellator competitor puts his title on the line against the unbeaten Usman Nurmagomedov, who is 12 years younger than the champ.
The undefeated 24-year-old Nurmagomedov has yet to face a ranked opponent. However, his inexperience will not hurt him in this fight because he has been training and preparing with some of the best fighters in the world throughout his pro MMA career, which began in 2017.
The 36-year-old Pitbull is a power striker, but he leaves himself open when throwing his strikes. His aggression will work against him in this fight. Nurmagomedov is very good at managing distance and he is very capable of mixing up his striking techniques and targets. Nurmagomedov will also have an advantage if the fight goes to the mat. The best bet in this matchup is for Nurmagomedov to submit a tired Pitbull in the fight’s second half.
Best Bellator 288 co-main event picks: Usman Nurmagomedov to beat Patricky Pitbull.
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