Earlier today, Bellator officially announced the Lightweight Grand Prix and the participants. The tournament will kick off on March 10th and like with any other Grand Prix the promotion has done, one million dollars and the lightweight title will go to the winner.
The promotion announced that Bellator 292 on March 10th will be the first event and we now know the headliner. It was announced that current lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov (16-0) will be taking on former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (30-11).
Tofiq Musayev (20-4) will also be taking on Alexander Shabliy (22-3) on the card. This is a huge way to kick it off and it’s a golden opportunity for Benson Henderson. Given the former UFC champion’s age, this might be his last crack at the title. Fans should be happy for him that he gets his shot right out of the gate.
Bellator 292 will mark the first title defense for Usman Nurmagomedov. Back in November, Nurmagomedov completely ran through Patricky Pitbull to become the lightweight champion of the world. The win took him to a perfect 5-0 inside the Bellator cage.
Now, a lot of people were wanting to see a first round with Nurmagomedov and AJ McKee. However, from this first announcement, my guess is that they will be on opposite sides of the bracket with the hope of a finals matchup. McKee is very familiar with the format as he won the featherweight Grand Prix.
At the time of writing this, the other two matchups have not been officially announced but my assumption is that Bellator will announce shortly.