Bellator 288 AfterMMAth


All Photos by Bellator MMA/Lucas Noonan




The Heavy Hitter Returns



Chicago's own Daniel James 14-6, 10 KO's 3 Sub's) felt that Tyrell Fortune hadn’t faced a real Heavyweight yet. The Predator wanted to put on a show for the hometown faithful and did just that. Daniel said "I’m bigger than a lot of guys" and was able to use his size and strength to win.

James said he blacked out during a rear naked choke attempt by Fortune. Daniel leaned on his cardio and the crowd cheers of the Chicago crowd pushed him to turn the corner. The Predator got out of the choke and make it through the round, allowing him to hand Tyrell is third professional loss.



The Predator said, "I always wanted to fight in Bellator. UFC was never on my radar." He started in Bellator and wanted to end his career in the organization. Making his pro debut at Bellator 112; though 41, he feels that his age is not a barrier to his success.

"This changes Chicago." He’s been working to change the direction of the Windy City with other local celebrities and thinks this win will help propel his hometown. Daniel James asked himself, “What am I not doing to be at a post fight conference?” Winning November 18th, made his dream come true.

What A Difference One Camp Makes



Unfortunately the return to the region was not as kind for Corey Anderson. The Rockton Il. native who made his name in Bellator with his ground and pound, his take down attempts vs. Vadim were thwarted all night. The Light Heavyweight champion went to ATT to work on his take down defense after his No Contest with Anderson in April.

The trip to Coconut Creek paid significant dividends as the area of greatest opportunity turned into a strength in one camp. Normally it takes longer than this to make the kinds of adjustments needed to overcome these opportunities. For Vadim, six months was enough to retain his title and win 1 Million Dollars. Now Vadim will face Yoel Romero on Bellator’s maiden voyage on CBS in 2023.



The ViacomCBS owned property made the announcement earlier in the day with a rematch and retirement bout when Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader faces All-Time Great, Fedor Emelianenko whose Nemkov's head coach. The Pride FC, Affliction, Strikeforce & M-1 Global Vet looks for redemption vs Bader, as he lost in the Heavyweight Grand Prix to the champion in January of 2019.


Nemkov avenged his coach in August of 2020 taking his Light Heavyweight belt with a head kick KO. Now it’s time for the Master to try to turn back the clock and go out victorious blazing a trail in Bellator’s first fight on Network TV.


Dagestan's New World Champion



Before the fight, Patricky Pitbull said that Usman hadn’t fought a ranked opponent and got the title shot off his last name. The odds makers felt differently as Nurmagomedov was the greatest favorite on the Main Card and he didn’t disappoint.

With a clean sweep on the cards (50-45 & 50-44 twice) Usman achieved his goal of becoming the first Dagestani Bellator champion. He joins his Cousin Khabib and Teammate Islam as World Champions.


Successfully completing 5 Rounds for the first time, he was nervous about a difficult fight. Outside of a couple exchanges in Round 5, it was smooth sailing. Coach Khabib Face-Timed to congratulate on his Victory while in the cage. Usman said Khabib raised the bar for the the team and he’s working hard to be on the same level. At 24, the sky’s the limit and his Bellator championship reign could be record setting.