Bellator recently unveiled an exciting new lightweight tournament that will take place during 2023.
Eight of the promotion’s best lightweights will fight in the tournament, and the winner will get his hands on the $1,000,000 cash prize and the lightweight title.
Current lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov is one of the contestants in the Grand Prix, which also includes former Bellator champions A.J. McKee and Patricky Pitbull, as well as former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
“We pick our tournament based on what we feel is the best division of our league and right now I think lightweight, including A.J., is going to be something that fans are going to want to watch,” Bellator president Scott Coker recently said on The MMA Hour.
Tournament kicks off at Bellator 292
The tournament starts on March 10 at Bellator 292, when undefeated Usman Nurmagomedov will defend the lightweight title against Benson Henderson. The champion won the belt in November when he defeated Patricky Pitbull via unanimous decision at Bellator 288.
In the Bellator 292 co-main event, Tofiq Musayev will clash with Alexander Shabliy in another lightweight quarterfinal matchup.
Check out all the Grand Prix contestants below!
- Reigning lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov (16-0)
- Mansour Barnaoui (20-4)
- Benson Henderson (30-11)
- Tofiq Musayev (20-4)
- A.J. McKee (20-1)
- Sidney Outlaw (16-5)
- Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire (24-11)
- Alexander Shabliy (22-3)