Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix starts March 10 in San Jose

Bellator MMA is wasting no time starting its elite 155-pound tournament with a bang.

The Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix will get underway March 10 at SAP Center in San Jose, with champion Usman Nurmagomedov taking on former UFC and WEC champion Benson Henderson in the Bellator 292 main event, a Bellator source confirmed.

Nurmagomedov’s title will be on the line throughout the $1 million tournament, with all the bouts featuring five, five-minute rounds.

The Bellator 292 will also pit Tofiq Musayev against Alexander Shabliy in another opening-round grand prix matchup.

Bellator released the names of all eight grand prix lightweight fighters earlier in the day. Bouts have yet to be announced for the four other participants: former Bellator featherweight champion A.J. McKee of Long Beach, former Bellator lightweight champion Patricky Pitbull, Sidney Outlaw and Mansour Barnaoui.

Nurmagomedov (16-0), the cousin of UFC lightweight legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, will be making his first title defense. The 24-year-old Russian is coming off a dominant dethroning of Pitbull via unanimous decision at Bellator 288 in November.

Long one of the most exciting 155-pounders over his 17-year career, the 39-year-old Henderson (30-11) goes for one last run at another title after defeating Islam Mamedov and Peter Queally via decisions in 2022.

Musayev (20-4) vs. Shabliy (22-3) has all the makings of a striking fan’s dream matchup.

Musayev, who already owns a decision victory over Pitbull in 2019, knocked out Outlaw in 27 seconds in his Bellator debut at Bellator 283 in July. Of the 33-year-old Azerbaijani’s 20 wins, 16 have come via knockout.

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Shabliy has gone 3-0 in Bellator since debuting in 2021. The 29-year-old Russian is coming off a second-round knockout of former lightweight champion Brent Primus at Bellator 282 in June.

The Bellator 292 main card will air live on Showtime at 7 p.m. PT. Tickets for the event go on sale Friday via or

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