Bellator 292 airing out of the SAP Center on March 10, will be headlined by Usman Nurmagomedov vs Benson Henderson. They will fight for Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title and this match also caps off the first set of Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix bouts. They will be preceded by Tofiq Musayev vs Alexandr Shabliy who will be the co-main event.
-This fight marks Usman Nurmagomedov’s first defense of his Bellator Lightweight title. Undefeated in professional MMA with a 16-0 record, the Dagestani lightweight won the belt off of Patricky Pitbull at Bellator 288 via unanimous decision. Additionally, he won the title at only 24 years old, making him the youngest Bellator champion ever.
His Bellator 292 opponent, Benson Henderson, on the other hand, is a veteran of the sport. At 39, the seasoned fighter has a lot of big-fight experience under his belt. Henderson joined Bellator after a massively successful stint in the UFC’s lightweight division.
Benson left the UFC with an 11-3 record, holding a 7-fight winning streak at one point. He is also a former WEC and UFC lightweight champion, holding wins over legends like Nate Diaz and Frankie Edgar. In fact, Benson is tied with Khabib Nurmagomedov, BJ Penn, and Frankie Edgar for the most title defenses at lightweight, 3.
Nurmagomedov vs Henderson: head-to-head stats
|Stats||Usman Nurmagomedov||Benson Henderson|
|Height||180 cm||175 cm|
|Reach||183 cm||178 cm|
Usman Nurmagomedov vs Benson Henderson: Fight breakdown and prediction
Leading up to this fight, Usman Nurmagomedov is the heavy favorite in many fans and pundits’ minds owing to his superior wrestling and sharper striking. After all, Henderson is 15 years his senior and has been fighting at the highest level of the sport since 2009. And all that time spent at the top entails quite a bit of damage. Furthermore, Usman will hold the height and reach advantage over Henderson at Bellator 292.
Despite this, Henderson should not be underestimated. Benson is fresh off 2 wins, notably the first came against Usman’s teammate, Islam Mamedov. He has made a career out of escaping tough situations in the octagon. And although Nurmagomedov is a bad stylistic matchup for almost everyone, Henderson and his jiu-jitsu may serve him well in the fight.
While Henderson’s experience and submission skills may pose some adversity to Usman, the odds are still heavily in his favor. After all, he is undefeated and carries with him the same grappling pedigree that made Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Mkahachev UFC champions. All in all, this fight is Usman’s to lose.