In the co-main event tomorrow night at Bellator 292, the world lightweight Grand Prix will officially kick off. Top contenders Alexander Shabliy (22-3) and Tofiq Musayev (20-4) will go head-to-head as they look to book their tickets to the semifinals.
Musayev is a former world champion in RIZIN and he has a ton of experience which includes a win over former Bellator champion Patricky Pitbull. Musayev lost his last bout in RIZIN which snapped a 15-fight winning streak but bounced back strong in his first bout in Bellator.
He knocked out Sidney Outlaw in under 30 seconds. He made a massive statement and he’s going to look to ride that momentum to a victory tomorrow night. However, it’s going to be a tall task considering his opponent.
Alexander Shabliy will ride a seven-fight winning streak into the Grand Prix. He made his debut with the promotion back in 2021 and he’s gone a perfect 3-0. In his last bout, he knocked out former lightweight champion Brent Primus.
Bellator 292 Prediction
While these two don’t have the biggest names in the world, this is a fight that folks need to circle on the card. These are two of the most underrated lightweights in the world and I think they are both very evently matched.
When it comes to this fight, I think the key is going to be where the fight takes place. While both men are capable on the feet and both have power, I would give Musayev the advantage. I think he hits a little harder and his shots are a little cleaner than Shabliy’s.
Meanwhile, Shabliy has very solid wrestling and I think he’s going to lean on that at Bellator 292. I’m not sure either man will get a finish in this matchup. My gut is going with Shabliy in this matchup. I think he’ll be able to be good enough on the feet to make things close, but his grappling secures enough rounds to win a decision.
Prediction: Alexander Shabliy by Decision