LOS ANGELES (November 1, 2022) — This past weekend, BELLATOR MMA touched down in Milan, Italy, for an event fraught with European talent. In the main event, highly-touted BELLATOR newcomer Mansour “Tarzan” Barnaoui (20-4) dominated mainstay Adam Piccolotti (13-5) in a grappling-heavy affair, notching a second-round submission with a rear-naked choke. The win vaulted Barnaoui to No. 11 in the lightweight division, just outside the star-studded Top 10.
The co-main event saw No. 2-ranked middleweight contender Fabian “The Assassin” Edwards (11-2) outclass Ireland’s Charlie Ward (10-5) over three rounds, retaining his spot in the division’s loaded upper echelon and inching closer to an ever-elusive title fight.
Elsewhere on the main card, No. 8-ranked Justin “J-Train” Gonzales (14-1) retained his ranking as he put on his most complete performance to date, snapping Andrew Fisher’s (19-9) six-fight unbeaten streak. Gonzales demonstrated marked improvements to his striking sure to complete his world-class wrestling acumen.
Middleweight contender Costello “The Spaniard” van Steenis (14-2) successfully returned to action after two years away from the cage with a second-round D’Arce choke of Poland’s Kamil Oniszczuk (9-2), warning the division and former rival Fabian Edwards he hasn’t lost a step despite the layoff. With the win, van Steenis jumped to No. 12 in the middleweight rankings.
One-time light heavyweight foes and fellow top prospects Simon “Hemlé” Biyong (9-2) and Luke “The Gent” Trainer (6-1) both added emphatic finishes to their resumes in their first fights since competing against one another in May. Biyong stopped Dragos Zubco (3-2) with strikes in the second round, moving to No. 12 in the division, while Trainer submitted Argentina’s Lucas Alsina (11-5) in the first round to climb to No. 14.
BELLATOR MMA will return to action in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, November 18 for BELLATOR 288: Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 / Pitbull vs. Nurmagomedov, a card headlined by the finale rematch of the BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix as well as a lightweight title fight. In the main event, BELLATOR light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2) will take on top contender Corey Anderson (16-5) in an immediate rematch of their first fight, which ended by No Contest after an accidental clash of heads. In the co-feature, reigning lightweight champion Patricky Pitbull (24-10) will defend his title against undefeated Usman Nurmagomedov (15-0) in a clash between two of MMA’s foremost fighting families.
The five-fight main card of BELLATOR 288: Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 / Pitbull vs. Nurmagomedov airs LIVE on SHOWTIME beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
The preliminary portion of BELLATOR 288 is stacked with elite prospects, regional talent, and established veterans and can be seen on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel, Showtime Sports YouTube Channel, and Pluto TV beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online at Bellator.com.