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Bellator 292: Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson Betting Analysis and Prediction

This Friday, current Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov is going to meet one of the all-time greats of mixed martial arts for the first round of the Bellator lightweight grand prix. Benson Henderson is looking to make one final run in his career this year and fight for the $1 million prize at the end of this year. 

Read this betting analysis and take a deep dive into this interesting matchup. We will find the best bets and give you an official Nurmagomedov vs Henderson prediction before you place your bets this week. 

Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson Information

Usman Nurmagomedov vs Benson Henderson

Location: SAP Center, San Jose, California, United States.

Date and Time: March 10, 2023. 10:00 PM ET.

How to Watch: Showtime | https://livestreamsports.co/

Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson Recent Fights

Usman Nurmagomedov

Nurmagomedov is making his first title defense after securing a decisive victory over Bellator legend Patricky Pitbull in November.

Benson Henderson

Henderson is looking to ride the momentum of two wins in 2022, both being decision victories over Islam Mamedov and Peter Queally.

Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson Betting Preview

Usman Nurmagomedov Preview

The 16-0 world champion of Bellator’s lightweight division is one of the most interesting “prospects” at the age of 24. You can’t really call him a prospect anymore because of the world title, but he has many years to keep improving, and that is a scary thought.

Nurmagomedov has eight KOs, and five submission victories under his belt, including finishing three out of his five Bellator wins. His youth gives him an advantage in this promotion; he has a lot of older guys at the top of the lightweight division. He is so athletic and such a dynamic fighter that it really causes issues with everyone he fights.

Nurmagomedov trains with arguably the best MMA team in the world at American Kickboxing Academy and his hometown of Dagestan with a room full of world champions. When you train every day with Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov, that will prepare you to get into the cage with anybody. 

Benson Henderson Preview

The sport of MMA owes a lot to Benson Henderson. He has fought 41 times in his pro career and has literally fought everyone you could think of in the last 15 years. From beating Cowboy Cerrone twice in WEC to his battles with Frankie Edgar in UFC title fights, Henderson is a pioneer of the sport of MMA. 

Henderson has finished only 14 of his 30 career wins, but his style has him always with his foot on the gas pedal. There won’t be any coasting to a decision for Henderson; he never stops coming forward when he is competing. 

He has said this fight week that this will be his last run in Bellator MMA. Three more fights for the future hall of famer, then he is going to let his wife focus on her Bellator fight career. The extra motivation will be needed to get past the seemingly unstoppable force of Nurmagomedov.

Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson Odds Breakdown

Making Bellator picks for your weekend betting slate is always interesting. The skill gap is a lot more prevalent than you would see in a promotion like the UFC. It is not very fun to see a -2000 betting favorite in a world title fight, but that is what we have this week with this main event.

Personally, I believe that MMA should never have a +1000 underdog; but now you’re telling me it’s Benson Henderson? These lines truly don’t make sense, but oddsmakers know what they are doing, and there is a reason that the book looks the way it does. 

Nurmagomedov is on a rocket ship to greatness, and he needs to go through someone that has already achieved that level of greatness years ago. Age has to be the biggest factor in this matchup. Can Henderson last 25 minutes against this 24-year-old savage from Dagestan?

Extensive Bellator Odds Available for Nurmagomedov vs. Henderson this Fight

One of the more interesting lines for this matchup is the over/under set at 4.5 rounds. The over is at plus odds right now, and that could be a great bet to make and cheer for, especially as a Henderson fan. This fight actually has a big selection of Bellator odds to look through at the major sportsbooks, something we aren’t used to with promotions outside the UFC. 

This is a fight that you need to do your research on and check out your sportsbook for prop bets. The moneyline has no value whatsoever and betting Henderson as a longshot just isn’t a smart move to make with your bankroll. 

Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Benson Henderson Pick and Prediction

The easy Nurmagomedov vs Henderson prediction is to say that Nurmagomedov gets his hand raised and moves on to the next round of the grand prix. The advantages are way too heavy in the young man’s favor this weekend for us to predict that Henderson will win this one. 

With the moneyline being ridiculously one-sided, let’s look into the other prop bets. If you are a massive Henderson fan, and many people are, you can still place a bet you can get behind and cheer for. The over 4.5 rounds look awesome at plus odds. 

MMA predictions are so difficult to make at any level. Even if you see a -2000 favorite, that fighter could land a kick wrong or get clips with one punch, and the fight is over. MMA is the craziest sport, and betting on it isn’t easy. 

Henderson’s Experience and Strategy Could Surprise Nurmagomedov

After breaking down the betting analysis and preview of this main event bout, the exact Nurmagomedov vs Henderson prediction is as follows: Henderson is going to try to use his movement as much as possible early on. He knows he needs to steal rounds early on the scorecards and probably even get a finish.

This will not be easy with the length and great kicks that Nurmagomedov has in his arsenal. He will be able to use his kicks to damage Henderson enough to slow him down; then, he can start letting his hands go and wrestling. Henderson is going to look for pockets of time to let his offense go and try to get fight-changing moments out of those exchanges. 

The best bet for Friday night is Nurmagomedov winning by a decision at +160. You can cheer both for Nurmagomedov to win and for Henderson to put up a close enough fight that it lasts all 25 minutes.

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