Tofiq Musayev and Alexander Shabliy kicked off the $1 million dollar Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix Friday night at Bellator 292.
The two top-ranked combatants were slated in the co-main event of the evening, though many fans viewed this highly anticipated match-up as the “people’s main event.”
Unfortunately for those fans, the fight did not end as anyone had expected.
There was definitely a feeling-out process, and the “Boo Birds” came out in the words of Mauro Ranallo. After a quiet first frame, the two lightweight standouts began to exchange heavy blows. Musayev landed a plethora of leg and body kicks, while Shabliy’s boxing prowess was on full display early on.
After two evenly fought rounds, Shabliy landed a kick to the solar plexus early in the third, one that grazed Musayev’s cup as the foot came down following the kick. Musayev was unable to continue, and therefore Shabliy was declared the winner. The ruling in the cage was that the damage came from a legal kick, the contact that was low came afterwards and was incidental.
Alexander Shabliy is heading into the semi-finals of the #BellatorLWGP!
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 11, 2023
Just like that, Shabliy moves on to the semi-finals of the tournament, while Musayev leaves San Jose dejected with a very poor taste in his mouth.
Awaiting Shabliy will be the winner of Patricky Pitbull vs. A.J. McKee, which goes down later this spring.
Official Result: Alexander Shabliy def. Tofiq Musayev by TKO, Round 3, 0:29