Bellator Unveils $1M Lightweight Grand Prix Including Usman Nurmagomedov And AJ McKee

One million dollars is on the line for eight of Bellator's best lightweights.

Bellator Lw Gp
(via @usman_nurmagomedov, @ajmckee101 - Instagram)

Another year, another million-dollar tournament. 

That’s right, Bellator is putting on another grand prix in 2023. With the finals of their bantamweight grand prix still on the horizon, the promotion has already announced that their next tournament will be in the lightweight division and will feature 8 of their best fighters. 

The Lightweight Line-Up

On Wednesday, President Scott Coker would reveal all the contestants while on ‘The MMA Hour.’

  • (C) Usman Nurmagomedov
  • Patricky Pitbull
  • Tofiq Musayev
  • Benson Henderson
  • Alexander Shabliy
  • Sidney Outlaw
  • A.J. McKee
  • Mansour Barnaoui

Usman Nurmagomedov enters the new tournament as the lightweight champion after defeating Patricky Pitbull in November. He’ll look to keep his undefeated record of 16-0 intact and add on to his legacy. 

AJ McKee has already bagged a million dollars from winning Bellator’s Featherweight Grand Prix back in 2021, but that won’t stop him from chasing another milli and championship at lightweight. The former champion has been on a tear since losing his rematch against Patricio Pitbull. He has beaten the likes of Spike Carlyle and also Roberto de Souza to seal the deal for Bellator at 5-0 in their cross-promotional event against RIZIN. 

Other former world champions in the tournament are Benson Henderson, Patricky Pitbull and Tofiq Musayev. 


The grand prix kicks off at Bellator 292 on March 10th in San Jose, California. According to Brian Martin, Usman Nurmagomedov will defend his title against Benson Henderson in the main event. In the co-headliner, Tofiq Musayev will face Alexander Shabily. 

Published on January 11, 2023 at 2:30 pm
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