Bellator 212: “Salute the Troops” goes down tomorrow night (Fri., Dec. 14, 2018) at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. The main event of the evening sees Lightweight champion Brent Primus (8-0) taking on former champion “Iron” Michael Chandler (18-4) in a highly-anticipated rematch more than one year in the making. Indeed, Primus recorded one of Bellator’s most unexpected world title upsets at Bellator 180 when Chandler was forced into a medical technical knockout that he vehemently protested (but was warranted), crowning a new champion on the night the promotion debuted inside Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
After months of stalling and some curious disinterest in regaining the title by Chandler, the rematch was finally scheduled for Bellator 197 earlier this year; however, shortly before the event was to take place, Primus withdrew with an undisclosed injury. So, Chandler took out his frustrations on Brandon Girtz instead.
Primus recently spoke with MMAmania.com about finally making this rematch happen, providing a rebuttal to fight fans and pundits alike who claim(ed) his first win over Chandler was a fluke.
“I trained for that freaking low kick for three months and did hundreds of days with that low kick and so they can call it a fluke, whatever they want, but I know what happened ... and so does Michael Chandler.”
Looking back, it’s clear that Primus landed a devastating kick that crippled Chandler’s left leg, which is the reason Primus is pissed off Chandler is trying to rewrite history after the fact.
“All the stuff that this guy says — I let it go in one ear and out the other, because we both know what happened. Even Scott Coker (on) ‘The MMA Hour’ after our fight said, ‘The doctor said it was from a kick’ and I don’t know how this guy thinks he can roll his ankle and cause nerve damage all the way up his leg just like that on a soft canvas.”
Clearly, Primus is not one to mince words about the situation. His verbiage might not be “PC” but one could clean it up and his point would be the same.
“It’s just retarded. I’ve had doctors message me saying the medical terms of the nerve (and) what happened and you get it from getting a contact — a blunt force hitting that nerve. You know I really don’t even think he would have said that he rolled his ankle if it didn’t appear how it did on camera and the announcers didn’t say that.”
Let’s ROLL THAT BEAUTIFUL BEAN FOOTAGE (sans commentary) and judge it for ourselves:
“They didn’t see the first couple of kicks. I watched the fights and they were talking about frigging ... what they ate for dinner or something. They weren’t even talking about the fight when I kicked him the first time, so they didn’t even see that. And then they were like, ‘Oh he rolled his ankle’ and as soon as he went to the doctor and the hospital and he got out and heard all that stuff he just went with it. He’s just a sore loser, a big sore loser, and the dude is just irritating, man — it’s funny.”
Primus is also not too thrilled that Chandler has described him as “a glorified part-time fighter” who would rather teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu than accept real cage fights.
“Hell no that’s not true! I quit coaching probably like two years ago when I started getting, you know when I was getting (more) fights in Bellator. I haven’t coached in a long time. I might do private lessons every once in a while, but I have not coached a class in a LONG time, man. He literally just says whatever he wants and people believe it. And he just ... it’s so fucking ... it’s so frustrating man. He’s literally just making up stuff.”
In fact, in Primus’ opinion the real coward is Chandler for not manning up to face him.
“I’m training every day, all day long, and he’s the one that avoided our rematch for months and months and months. Yeah, he can say whatever the hell he wants, but he knows that he was the one avoiding me and it is what it is.”
But, what about the fact Primus pulled out of Bellator 197 when this fight was originally scheduled to take place?
“Oh, you know what? That time yeah I got injured, yes, but before that I was waiting months and months for him to sign the contract. Bellator kept on saying, ‘We’re going to have the fight for you any time, any time, we’re just waiting on Chandler.’ Man, I really waited months for that guy to sign the contract, you know?”
Primus also says their rematch could have happened at Bellator 192 in January.
“He knows that he could have fought me way before [Bellator 197]. And not only that, I had a contract to fight him when he fought Yamauchi. Bellator called and told me that he wants to fight somebody else instead of me. I was like, ‘What the hell?’ Then I hear him saying all that stuff so ... the dude’s like bi-polar or something. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with that guy.”
Being called bi-polar may be “fighting words,” but if Chandler feels some kind of way about it he just needs to show up tomorrow evening.
“I’m just really excited to do it. I was pretty worried there for a little while because I thought that he was maybe going to go sign to another organization and stuff like that, and so I was definitely stressing out that we weren’t going to get our rematch, but we are getting a rematch now so I’m excited, man.”
Hopefully, by this point you’re excited as well to see “Primus vs. Chandler 2” and find out whether or not Brent Primus can make Michael Chandler eat his words.
Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Salute the Troops” resides here at MMA Mania all week long.
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