CHICAGO – Bellator has its first champion from Dagestan. Usman Nurmagomedov entered the first five-round fight of his career aiming to make history, and after a dominant 25-minute performance, he accomplished his goal with little resistance. Remaining undefeated Nurmagomedov (16-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA), took the lightweight title from Patricky Freire with a clean sweep on the scorecards. The lightweight title bout served as the co-main event of Bellator 288 at Wintrust Arena, and aired on Showtime. Nurmagomedov took control of the center early, setting the tone with a variety of kicks as Freire (24-11 MMA, 15-9 BMMA) measured from the outside.

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