Bellator 292: Usman Nurmagomedov Submits Benson Henderson, Former UFC Champ Retires

Usman Nurmagomedov and Benson Henderson, Bellator 292
Usman Nurmagomedov and Benson Henderson, Bellator 292 Credit: Bellator MMA

The stage was set for Benson Henderson at Bellator 292, as the former UFC and WEC champion had one last opportunity to claim Bellator gold in a five-round main event bout with undefeated champion Usman Nurmagomedov.

The fight doubled as both a championship bout and a $1M Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix quarterfinal match-up, with the winner moving on to the semifinals of the tournament.

While the pair of lightweights travelled to San Jose with star-studded corners, Nurmagomedov’s including UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev, both men entered the cage alone in arguably the biggest fight of their respective careers.

Early on, the 24 year-old champion sent Benson Henderson crashing to the mat with a vicious question mark kick that would make Luke Rockhold proud. Nurmagomedov pounced on Henderson, swiftly transitioning to the back before submitting Henderson via rear-naked choke.

Nurmagomedov voiced his tremendous respect for Henderson in his post-fight interview with Big John McCarthy, showing that there was no personal tension between the legend and himself.

Henderson took the mic next, announcing his retirement from mixed-martial arts following an illustrious fighting career. Widely considered one of the greatest lightweight of all-time, Henderson will ride off into the sunset, devoting his time to coaching his fighters at the MMA Lab — including his wife Maria who recently signed with Bellator.

Nurmagomedov moves on to the semifinals of the $1M Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix, where he’ll be met by either Brent Primus or Mansour Barnaoui.

Official Result: Usman Nurmagomedov def. Benson Henderson by submission (Rear-naked choke), Round 1, 2:37


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