Reigning Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov will make his first title defense on March 10 at Bellator 292 in San Jose against former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
The title fight, which will determine the semi-finalist of the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix, will headline the announced event, and in the second most important event of the tournament, Alexander Shabliy and Tofik Musaev will compete for another ticket to the semi-finals. The quarterfinal matches of the competition with the participation of Russian fighters were officially announced by the representatives of the organization.
In addition to the four named fighters, AJ McKee, Sidney Outlaw, Mansour Barnaoui, as well as former division champion Patrick “Pitbull” Freire, from whom Usman Nurmagomedov took away the championship belt in November last year, defeated the Brazilian by unanimous decision, will become participants in the lightweight grand prix.
Alexander Shabliy, ranked fourth in the Bellator lightweight rankings, has won three victories in the organization, finishing in the last fight with a TKO in the second round of former division champion Brent Primus.