Bellator 292 looks to host a loaded card March 10th, 2023 in San Jose, California as the SAP Center will kick off the promotion’s Lightweight World Grand Prix, and in the main event, lightweight king Usman Nurmagomedov, will defend his title against former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, and in the co-main event Tofiq Musayev will battle Alexander Shabliy.
In just five fights under the Bellator umbrella, Nurmagomedov would go on to become champion and is now ready to begin his reign of defenses. At 16-0 in his career, Nurmagomedov has made quite an impression in the MMA world, representing a star-studded camp that hosts names such as UFC Hall of famer and former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, current UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, and rising bantamweight contender Umar Nurmagomedov.
With a dominant and career-boosting win over Patricky Pitbull under his belt, Nurmagomedov looks to add to his resume another career win against arguably one of the most decorated MMA fighters in history in Benson Henderson.
’Smooth’ Henderson has been fighting professionally for 16 years now, and with recently announcing he has about three more fights before he hangs the gloves up, he is looking to make history by being the only man to collect titles under the WEC, UFC and Bellator promotions. At this juncture in his career, it is certainly a tough task but not an impossible one. Henderson has won two in a row so he does have a good amount of confidence as well as experience heading into his showdown.
In the Co-Main event of the evening, Tofiq Musayev looks to make a statement as former RIZIN lightweight title holder felt overlooked when Usman Nurmagomedov got the call to fight Patricky Pitbull and not him. Now he has to go through a gauntlet of lightweights in the Grand Prix in order to attain $1 million and a title shot. Not to mention should he win, he still faces the winner of Pitbull and A.J. McKee to be able to advance to the finals.
His opponent Shabliy is a game opponent, riding a seven-fight win streak with three of them under the Bellator promotion, with his latest appearance being a TKO victory over Brent Primus. The Russian-born fighter has a very well-rounded game with 11 stoppages coming by strikes and seven by submission. Musayev is the more decorated fighter on the feet however with 17 of his 20 wins coming by way of knockout.
The card also features a heavyweight bout that could determine the next title contender as Valentin Moldavsky taking on Linton Vassell as well as a welterweight bout between Michael ‘Venom’ Page (MVP) who is coming off a tough 2022 against a game Goiti Yamauchi.