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Bellator 292 Preview: Usman Nurmagomedov

Lucas Noonan | Bellator MMA

Tomorrow night at the Bellator 292 headliner we will see a lightweight bout which is also part of the lightweight grand prix. Lightweight champion and unbeaten sensation Usman Nurmagomedov (16-0) will be looking to dethrone former lightweight champion Benson Henderson (30-11).

When Benson Henderson left the UFC for Bellator in 2016, it was a huge deal. Henderson just defeated Jorge Masvidal and went straight to a shot at the welterweight title. Unfortunately, he lost that fight and fell short every time he fought for the gold medal with the promotion.

If you were to tell me that Henderson wouldn’t have taken gold at Bellator right after he was signed, I would have said you’re crazy. This will likely be his last shot at the age of 39. So far in his history with the promotion, Henderson has gone 7-6 in thirteen fights.

Usman Nurmagomedov had his crowning moment last November when he dominated Patriki Pitbull over five rounds to become the lightweight champion. It was his fifth fight with the promotion and only the second time he went on the scorecards. Understandably, it’s a huge favorite for tomorrow night.

Bellator predicted 292

When you look at Benson Henderson’s skill set, it’s really hard to imagine him winning tomorrow night. Why do I say that? Well, in every area where he is good, Usman Nurmagomedov is better.

Henderson has strong strikes with good kicks. Nurmagomedov has better hitting with better kicks. Henderson has good wrestling with a strong submission game. Nurmagomedov has better wrestling and, in my opinion, a more elegant submission game.

There are no areas I can really point to and see Henderson’s window for victory. Now, he’s a cunning warrior and he might have a trick up his sleeve, but I don’t see it. I see another lopsided win for Nurmagomedov as he controls the fight wherever he goes.

Prediction: Usman Nurmagomedov by decision

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