These Bellator 292 lines are not joking when it pegs Usman Nurmagomedov, the Bellator champion, as a -2000 favorite to defend his belt against Benson Henderson. Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin is expected to destroy the former WEC and Bellator champion who turns 40 later this year. But Henderson has had plenty of success as an underdog.
Defending Nurmagomedov Name with Authority
Usman is not just a Nurmagomedov by name. The unbeaten fighter has all but destroyed every fighter he’s fought. Prior to beating the brakes off of Patricky “Pitbull” Freire to win the belt, he finished most of his opponents in the first round. He’s done this via via ground-and-pound, chokes, or knees in the clinch.
And more impressive with Nurmagomedov is his age: 24. This means the Moscow-born fighter is still getting better and could be even more dangerous than he was last time. That’s why the Bellator MMA odds have him this wide of a favorite.
Nurmagomedov may be facing his toughest test in Henderson. But he’s proven that he can go five hard rounds and not miss a beat. He will have to overcome the experience edge but is younger, faster, and stronger. It’s tough to bet online on him at the odds but betting against him could also be a fool’s errand.
Henderson Can Still Find Ways
But at +850 to win in the sportsbook, you can’t fault anyone for taking that dog shot on Henderson. In his late 30s, Henderson is getting things done. He beat Peter Queally in his own Ireland and prior to that, upset Islam Mamedov as a +360 underdog.
In fact, Henderson is 9-2 as a dog since he debuted in the WEC in 2009. He won both of his belts as one albeit one came via a disputable decision against Frankie Edgar. But the one known as “Smooth” lives up to his nickname as he is a crafty fighter. Henderson is more than capable wherever the fight goes. He also has one of the nastiest guillotines.
A ‘foreshadow’ of what’s to come… 🤔
Will @BensonHenderson become #AndNew lightweight champion on Friday night?#Bellator292 | Friday 10pm ET / 7pm PT | @SHOsports pic.twitter.com/tbrie0sMY8
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 7, 2023
Fighting Nurmagomedov will be Henderson’s ultimate test. Most Bellator picks are against him. But Henderson, if anything, is durable. He’s only been finished three times in his career. Welterweights who were much bigger could not put him away. And as long as he can stay in the fight, “Bendo” is a threat.
Nurmagomedov vs Henderson Head-to-Head
Nurmagomedov will be slightly larger than Henderson here. He is two inches taller with a similar reach advantage. Most notably, he is 15 years younger than Henderson. The champion strikes in the orthodox stance while Henderson is a southpaw.
Nurmagomedov vs Henderson Fight Information
- Fighters: Nurmagomedov (C) (16-0-0) vs Henderson (30-11-0)
- Location: SAP Center, San Jose, CA
- Day/Time: Friday, March 10, 7 p.m. ET
- Nurmagomedov vs Henderson Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Nurmagomedov vs Henderson Betting Lines
Nurmagomedov vs Henderson Picks and Prediction
At the current lines, there is little to no value betting on Nurmagomedov unless you want to whale on him. Adding him to a parlay brings little either. Instead, taking a shot at Henderson could prove to be the best underdog winner. The likely result is Nurmagomedov mauling Henderson. But it is not impossible for the longtime veteran to make shocking Bellator news and come out on top either.
Nurmagomedov is listed at -2000 in our Bellator lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Nurmagomedov, you have a chance to win $5. Henderson is +850, offering a chance to win $850 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Nurmagomedov a 95.24% chance to win, with Henderson at 10.53%.