Former UFC champion Benson Henderson has finally retired from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts after a first round loss to current Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 292.
In the main event of the show on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, Nurmagomedov submitted Henderson with a rear-naked choke after the former UFC champion was knocked out in the first few seconds by a question mark kick.
Henderson stood up after being knocked down, but he continued to take punishment from other blows. Nurmagomedov moved to the rear and attempted to submit. Henderson initially defended, but after moving towards the cage, Nurmagomedov used his punches to grab Henderson’s neck, pressure it, and force him to submit.
“I’ve had a nice long run,” Henderson said. “I’ve done a lot of great things. I was able to do a lot of accomplishments. Thank you to everybody around the world. Thank you guys for your love and support. I appreciate that.” (H/T – MMAJunkie.com)
Henderson gave an inside-the-cage interview to analyst John McCarthy following the fight in which he made his retirement announcement. Henderson, who had two more fights left on his Bellator contract, claimed that before agreeing to the arrangement, he promised himself that if he lost, he would give up fighting.
Henderson, 39, leaves with a long list of notable achievements. He has held the lightweight titles in the UFC and WEC in the past. Frankie Edgar, Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz, Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone, and Patricio Freire are just a few of the winners.
Nurmagomedov goes to the semifinal round to face the winner of a Bellator 295 contest between Mansour Barnaoui and Brent Primus in May after winning the fight that functioned as a grand prix quarterfinal.
Bellator 292: Henderson vs Nurmagomedov Results
- Usman Nurmagomedov def. Benson Henderson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:37
- 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.