Benson Henderson has called it a career.
It took Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) all of 2:37 to finish Henderson (30-12 MMA, 7-7 BMMA) and defend his Bellator lightweight championship at Bellator 292.
In the main event of Friday’s event at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., Nurmagomedov submitted Henderson with a rear-naked choke after a question mark kick floored the former UFC champion in the opening seconds.
Henderson recovered from the initial knockdown, though he was continually punished with follow-up punches. Nurmagomedov shifted to the back and worked for a submission. Initially, Henderson defended but after he scooted to the cage, Nurmagomedov used his punches, found a grip on the neck, squeezed, and got the tap.
After the fight, Henderson announced his retirement inside the cage in an interview with analyst John McCarthy. Henderson, who had two more fights left on his Bellator contract, said he told himself prior to signing the deal that if he lost, he’d call it quits. Friday, he made good on that promise.
Henderson, 39, finishes with a lengthy resume of high-level accolades. He is a former UFC lightweight champion and former WEC lightweight champion. Victories include Frankie Edgar, Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone, and Patricio Freire.
With the victory in a bout that served as a grand prix quarterfinal, Nurmagomedov advances to the semifinal round against the winner of a Bellator 295 bout between Mansour Barnaoui and Brent Primus in May.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 292 results include:
Alexander Shabliy def. Tofiq Musayev via TKO – Round 3, 0:29
Linton Vassell def. Valentin Moldavsky via KO (ground-and-pound) – Round 1, 3:03
Michael Page def. Goiti Yamauchi via KO (leg kick) – Round 1, 0:26.
Enrique Barzola def. Erik Perez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Josh Hill def. Cass Bell via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Khalid Murtazaliev def. Tony Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov def. Julius Anglickas via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Laird Anderson def. Rogelio Luna via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2;41.
Theo Haig def. Adam Wamsley via submission (guillotine choke) Round 1, 3:01.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 292.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie
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