Bellator 287 Recap: Barnaoui’s Dominant Debut and Event Highlights

Bellator 287, held on October 29, 2022, at the Allianz Cloud Arena in Milan, Italy, showcased a series of compelling matchups and standout performances. The event was headlined by a lightweight bout between Mansour Barnaoui and Adam Piccolotti, with Barnaoui making a triumphant debut in the Bellator cage.

Main Event: Mansour Barnaoui vs. Adam Piccolotti

Mansour Barnaoui’s arrival to Bellator was nothing short of spectacular. After a three-year hiatus, questions loomed about his performance level, but Barnaoui quickly dispelled any doubts. He overwhelmed Piccolotti with superior grappling, demonstrating a masterclass in control and submission skills. The fight culminated in a rear-naked choke victory for Barnaoui in the second round, marking his successful entry into the promotion and setting him up as a potential contender in the lightweight division.

Co-Main Event and Other Main Card Highlights

The co-main event featured a middleweight clash between Costello van Steenis and his opponent, which ended in a brabo choke submission victory for van Steenis. This win added another highlight-reel finish to the event.

Lightweight Alfie Davis also secured a unanimous decision victory, showcasing his skills across three rounds. His performance was a testament to his strategic prowess and endurance in the cage.

Knockouts and Submissions

The event was not short on action, with several fighters delivering memorable finishes. Ayoub Nacer’s bantamweight bout ended with a swift knockout via punches just 12 seconds into the first round, electrifying the crowd.

Luke Trainer, competing in the light heavyweight division, secured a rear-naked choke submission in the first round, demonstrating his grappling acumen.

Sarvarjon Khamidov also made an impact with a TKO victory in the bantamweight division, utilizing a body kick and punches to secure the win in the first round.

Upcoming Fights and Divisional Impact

With Barnaoui’s declaration of intent to pursue the lightweight belt and his potential inclusion in the 2023 lightweight Grand Prix, the division is set for an exciting year. His performance at Bellator 287 has put the division on notice, and fans can look forward to his next steps in the promotion.

Bellator 287 not only delivered thrilling fights but also set the stage for future matchups that will shape the landscape of the promotion’s various weight classes. As fighters continue to vie for dominance, the anticipation for upcoming events and the unfolding narratives within each division grows ever stronger.

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