DUBLIN: At Bellator 285, Benson Henderson defeated Peter Queally of Ireland by unanimous decision.
Queally was unable to counteract American Henderson, 38, who dominated the battle against the cage with his grappling.
Henderson is now in line for a chance at the lightweight belt thanks to the victory.
Before Queally entered the ring, the audience had previously witnessed the victories of nine Irish fighters. They cheered him on while singing the lyrics to The Cranberries' "Zombie" as he entered the ring.
But the opening round was a harbinger of things to come because Henderson's wrestling mostly neutralised Queally's danger and prevented him from gaining momentum with his striking.
Henderson began to score the bigger strokes and had some luck with several elbows at close range.
The Irish fighter had a boost on the scorecards in the second round after the American unintentionally kicked Queally in the groyne, but he was unable to take advantage.
Henderson primarily controlled the action against the cage for the remainder of the fight, countering Queally's strikes with takedown attempts and strikes of his own.
After defeating Queally to earn his 30th victory in 41 fights, Henderson paid tribute to his opponent.