Usman Nurmagomedov

Usman Nurmagomedov dethrones Patricky Freire, wins lightweight championship at Bellator 288

Bellator MMA returned to us tonight, November 18, 2022, for Bellator 288, going down live from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.

Headlining the event was a championship encounter between Bellator light-heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) and no. 1 ranked Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC), a rematch from their first affair that happened earlier this year in April.

Co-headlining the card was also a title bout, this one coming at 155 lbs between Bellator lightweight champion Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire (24-10, 16 knockout, 1 submission) and no. 1 ranked Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0, 8 knockout, 5 submission).

Freire looked to make the first defense of his newly claimed title, while Nurmagomedov aimed to join teammates Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev as world champion at just 24 years of age.

Continue reading to see how this epic championship co-main event went down:

Official Result: Usman Nurmagomedov def. Patricky Freire via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44)

Nurmagomedov gets to work with his wide variety of kicks early on, as he always does, and it’s proving to be quite difficult for Freire to deal with, who gets merely no offense off through the first five minutes.

Nurmagomedov throws an overhand and beautifully hides a double leg takedown behind it two minutes into the second, and this is where he really begins to dominate the fight.

Freire remains on his back eating punches and elbows, gets his back taken where Nurmagomedov threatened with a choke, and ended the round having the Russian mounted on him reigning down vicious ground and pound.

Freire stuffs three straight takedowns attempts to start the third round, and Nurmagomedov takes a deep breath before pursuing him on the feet. Freire has a better round three, as Nurmagomedov’s output has slowed, but the Russian still probably took the 10-9 scorecard with his technical striking.

At the end of three the striking totals are 102-12 in favor of Nurmagomedov.

The fourth is very similar to the third, with Nurmagomedov being slightly more active. Freire is trying to create openings for himself, but he’s unable to land anything substantial or consistent.

Freire opens up the fifth and final round with a furious pace and catches Nurmagomedov with a hard punch. As he’s going in for the kill, Nurmagomedov is able to keep from being hit again, and soon shoots on a perfectly timed takedown that puts the champion on his back once again.

Freire tries to get up with two minutes left and is slammed back down. He eventually reverses the position, though Nurmagomedov gets right up. With one minute left in the fight, Freire is unable to secure a knockout and lost his belt considering.

Usman Nurmagomedov is now 16-0 as a professional, as he becomes the first Bellator champion from Dagestan tonight at Bellator 288.

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