Nurmagomedov vs Henderson Odds Preview: Big Names Headline Bellator 292

Stacked Card Headlined by Lightweight Grand Prix

Nurmagomedov Massively Favored Over Former Champ

No, Usman Nurmagomedov is not Khabib Nurmagomedov. But he might as well be considering his bogus Nurmagomedov vs Henderson odds. The cousin to the undefeated former UFC champion is also unbeaten at 16-0 and enters his bout against former champion, Benson Henderson, as a whopping -2000 favorite. That is high praise indeed for Nurmagomedov as he and Henderson highlight the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix, which will not only be for the title but a shot at the Million-Dollar grand prize.

Nurmagomedov vs Henderson

Date & Time:
Location: SAP Center, San Jose, California
Streaming: Showtime, YouTube (Prelims)

A Tale of Two Grand Prix Bouts: A Squash Match and a Toss Up?

The Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix is set to start this Friday with a pair of fights headlined by the aforementioned bout. On one hand, the Nurmagomedov vs Henderson odds are anything but equal. But on the other, the Tofiq Musayev vs Alexander Shabliy bout is expected to be much more competitive. The latter is slightly favored at -145 while Musayev is a slight underdog at +115.

Usman Nurmagomedov is indeed related to Khabib: He is his cousin and is Dagestani by ethnicity. That in part plays to his typically sizable betting lines. Call it the “Dagestani Tax” as fighters from this region tend to maul their opponents with unrelenting wrestling. As for Henderson, who turns 40 later this November, he knows the magnitude of this bout.

โ€œFor me, this will be the first time winning a third world title from a third different organization,” Henderson told Cageside Press. “So yes, it is definitely for sure the biggest fight of my career. And Iโ€™m definitely learning to appreciate the processโ€” to love the journey more, to stop and smell the roses, not just go get the belt and kind of gloss over the details and forget about it or whatever.”

The Bellator 292 betting odds may not be kind to Henderson. But this is a man who edged out Islam Mamedov as a +360 underdog last year. Going back to his debut in WEC in 2009, Henderson is 9-2 as an underdog. He won both the WEC and UFC championships as one. A third time will not only cement “Bendo’s” legacy as a lightweight, but even put him on the Mt. Rushmore of 155-pound MMA fighters.

The Musayev-Shabliy fight, on the other hand, is on the other side of the Lightweight Grand Prix bracket. The winner of this bout will go on to face the winner of Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and A.J. McKee, two former champions.

Former Title Challengers Line the Undercard

Speaking of championships, Bellator 292 has packed the event with some notable former title challengers raring to get another crack. In a featured bout is the former interim heavyweight champion, Valentin Moldavsky as he rematches Linton Vassell. The Russian is favored at -300 and looks to hand Vassell another loss as he did in 2019. That’s the last time Vassell, a two-time title challenger at 205 pounds, tasted defeat.

Michael “Venom” Page opens the main card with a bout against Goiti Yamauchi. Page is just slightly favored at -130 as he’s lost two consecutive bouts (one in bare-knuckle boxing). Yamauchi (+100) is an 18-fight Bellator veteran but is still just 30 years of age. He has won three straight fights and is 2-0 at welterweight. A win for either fighter here will put them on the cusp of a title shot.

But it’s also not a Bellator event unless we have more chalky odds similar to the Nurmagomedov vs Henderson odds. Josh Hill, a former two-time title challenger at the WSOF (PFL now) will fight Cass Bell in a featured prelim bout. Hill is a -450 betting favorite while Bell’s comeback is at +325. The green-haired underdog, Bell, already scored a huge upset over Jared Scoggins in December. He gets no favors in his tough Bellator schedule as he looks to spring another one.
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