LOS ANGELES – BELLATOR MMA’s Lightweight World Champion Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0) made his first title defense in front of an electric crowd at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. after a dominant first round submission victory over the iconic MMA veteran, Benson Henderson (30-12). With the victory, Nurmagomedov climbs to the No. 5 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.
The event’s co-main event saw the other side of the bracket of the Lightweight World Grand Prix which featured two lightweight powerhouses, as Alexander Shabliy (23-3) advanced over Tofiq Musayev (20-5), earning the No. 2 spot in the rankings while Musayev fell to No. 3.
In a highly anticipated heavyweight rematch, Linton Vassell (24-8) successfully climbed to the No. 1 ranked position after a relentless knockout victory over former interim title holder, Valentin Moldavsky (11-3-1). Rounding out the main card, welterweight knockout artist Michael Page (21-2) retained his status at No. 2 with a first round knockout victory over Goiti Yamauchi (28-6).
BELLATOR MMA returns to Pechanga Resort Casino on Friday, March 31 for BELLATOR 293: Golm vs. James fight card which features No. 5-ranked Marcelo Golm (10-3) andChicago’s Daniel James (14-6-1) in a pivotal heavyweight bout. The co-main event will see MMA pioneer Cat Zingano (13-4) look to extend her impressive winning streak to four as she takes on Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt (7-2) in a high stakes featherweight bout.
The event features a seemingly endless offering of the organization’s brightest prospects including: Aaron Jeffery, Sullivan Cauley, Luke Trainer, Joey Davis Jr., Archie Colgan, Justin Montalvo, Lucas Brennan, Lance Gibson Jr., Christian Edwards, Randi Field, Bryce Meredith and Maria Henderson, to name a few.
The main card of BELLATOR 293: Golm vs. James will be broadcast in the U.S. live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. while the preliminary card will air live at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel, the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel, and Pluto TV. Tickets are available now at the Pechanga box office, as well as Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.com and Pechanga.com.
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Updated schedule of BELLATOR events - click links for updated fight cards
Fri. Mar. 31 // BELLATOR 293: Golm vs. James // Pechanga Resort Casino // Temecula, CA
Fri. Apr. 21 // BELLATOR: 294: Carmouche vs. Bennett 2 // Blaisdell Arena // Honolulu, HI
Sat. Apr. 22 // BELLATOR: 295: Stots vs. Mix // Blaisdell Arena // Honolulu, HI
Fri. May 12 // BELLATOR 296: Mousasi vs. Edwards // Accor Arena // Paris, France
BELLATOR MMA is a leading global mixed martial arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, BELLATOR events take place in major cities worldwide and can be seen on television in over 160 countries to an available audience of over one billion people. In the United States, BELLATOR can be seen on SHOWTIME. BELLATOR is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity, and commission relations. BELLATOR is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Paramount, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.