Bellator MMA introduced right now that the launch of its highly-anticipated, one-million-dollar Bellator Light-weight World Grand Prix will kick off on Friday, March 10, when the promotion returns to SAP Middle at San Jose. Newly topped Light-weight World Champion and No. 7 pound-for-pound expertise Usman Nurmagomedov (16-0) will defend his belt towards former UFC Light-weight Champion and No. 3-ranked Benson Henderson (30-11) in the primary occasion.
Bellator 292: Nurmagomedov vs. Henderson will air dwell on Showtime at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT.
Additionally scheduled, No. 2-ranked knockout artist Tofiq Musayev (20-4) will conflict with No. 4-ranked Alexander Shabliy (22-3) in what guarantees to be an exhilarating hanging affair. Each bouts will function opening spherical matchups for the Bellator Light-weight World Grand Prix, and all World Grand Prix matchups are scheduled for 5, five-minute rounds.
Bellator bantamweights Josh Hill (21-5) and Cass Bell (6-2), in addition to heavyweights Wladmir Gouvea (1-0) vs. Sean Tucker (1-3) have been introduced for the preliminary portion of the occasion, which can air dwell at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on the Bellator MMA YouTube channel, the Showtime Sports activities YouTube channel, and Pluto TV.
Tickets for the occasion go on sale Friday, Jan. 13, and could be bought at Ticketmaster.com or Bellator.com. A particular presale is slated for Jan. 11 and 12.
Usman Nurmagomedov vs Benson Henderson
The 24-year-old Nurmagomedov has regarded merely sensational via his first 5 outings below the Bellator banner, capping off his profitable run on the light-weight title by dethroning Patricky “Pitbull” in a masterful unanimous choice shutout at Bellator 288 this previous November. The dynamic finisher grew to become Bellator’s first Dagestani champion with the victory, an accomplishment certain so as to add to the legacy of Nurmagomedov’s cousin, MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, and uncle, famend coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Regardless of the daunting sneakers left for him to fill, Usman Nurmagomedov has achieved precisely that to this point in his burgeoning MMA profession. Nurmagomedov now enters the one-million-dollar Bellator Light-weight World Grand Prix, the place he should defend his title three consecutive instances to emerge victorious and gather the million-dollar grand prize.
Henderson, 39, is a former UFC and WEC light-weight champion within the midst of creating one final run on the Bellator title that has twice eluded him earlier than. “Easy” has lengthy been one of many sport’s most recognizable figures, and his well-rounded talent set has seen him thrive on the highest ranges of the game for near 20 years. Henderson’s 17-year profession contains wins over the likes of Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Frankie Edgar, Patricio Pitbull, and lots of others. Now, he hopes so as to add Usman Nurmagomedov’s identify to his spectacular resume in San Jose on March 10. The MMA Lab product has regarded like his classic self in current months, defeating No. 7-ranked Islam Mamedov and No. 9-ranked Peter Queally in consecutive outings to earn this title shot towards Nurmagomedov.
Tofiq Musayev vs Alexander Shabliy
Tofiq Musayev will make his sophomore look, aiming to construct upon a shocking, short-notice, 27-second knockout of Sidney Outlaw in his Bellator debut. The 33-year-old has developed a popularity as a fearsome power-puncher whereas competing internationally, scoring 16 knockouts in his 20 skilled victories. Representing Azerbaijan, the No. 2-ranked light-weight contender already holds wins over two of the Grand Prix rivals in Outlaw and former title holder Patricky “Pitbull”, whom Musayev defeated at RIZIN 20 to turn into the RIZIN Combating Federation Light-weight Champion in 2019. Musayev has his eyes set on one purpose — capturing the Bellator Light-weight Championship — and the street to Musayev’s title aspirations should take him via Russia’s Alexander Shabliy, a adorned striker in his personal proper.
Equally desperate to earn a coveted title shot will probably be No. 4-ranked Shabliy, a Russian hanging specialist who believes the time for his run on the Bellator Light-weight Championship is now. The 29-year-old Shabliy has been excellent via his first three fights below the Bellator banner, scoring wins over Alfie Davis and Bobby King earlier than notching his signature win with the promotion, a second-round knockout of former champion Brent Primus at Bellator 282. Shabliy has honed his expertise additional on the prestigious American Prime Workforce fitness center in Coconut Creek, Florida, coaching alongside MMA superstars like Bellator Middleweight Champion Johnny Eblen and others. “Peresvet” will look to showcase his expertise on March 10 when he squares off with Tofiq Musayev on this marquee opening spherical Grand Prix matchup.
Bellator 292: Nurmagomedov vs Henderson
Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson – Bellator Light-weight WGP quarter-final bout, for Nurmagomedov’s titleTofiq Musayev vs. Alexander Shabliy – Bellator Light-weight WGP quarter-final bout
Josh Hill vs. Cass BellVladimir Gouvea vs. Sean TuckerTheo Haig vs. Adam Wamsley