It all goes down later tonight (Fri., Dec. 14, 2018) at Bellator 212: "Salute the Troops" live on Paramount Network and DAZN from inside Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, as current lightweight champion Brent Primus defends his belt for the first time against former titleholder Michael Chandler.
Remember, Chandler lost the 155-pound strap to Primus back at Bellator NYC last year following a leg injury in the very first round.
Luckily for Chandler, he's remained active since that loss. Victories over Goiti Yamauchi and Brandon Girtz in 2018 have led the future Bellator Hall of Famer back to a title shot.
As for Primus, tonight will be the first time he's stepping back inside of the cage since his TKO win over Chandler last summer. A pestering knee injury has kept the Bellator champ on ice for more than a year.
"I’ve stayed active,” Chandler said earlier this week during open workouts (h/t MMAjunkie). “He’s done nothing but rust up there in Oregon teaching kids jiu-jitsu somewhere. So I’m ready to step back in there and continue this quest.”
Chandler, 32, is arguably the most accomplished fighter in Bellator MMA history. With a 15-4 promotional record, including five title fight victories, there's really nothing left for the veteran to prove.
That's probably why Chandler doesn't mind seeing Primus walk around with Bellator's lightweight title. After all, Chandler will have his chance for revenge later tonight as he tries to break his own mold.
“That’s the highlight of his life,” Chandler said of Primus' title. “It’s good. That’s the thing, man. He’s got the belt. Let him enjoy it. To me, you’re not going to see me with the belt that much. It’s for the kids, it’s for the camera, it’s for that kind of stuff, that’s cool. For me, this is a constant quest of outperforming my previous self. It’s not about the belt, it’s not about the money, it’s not about the lights, it’s not about the cameras.
"I’ve been in this sport a long time, and I know exactly what I’m fighting for. It will be nice to win that belt, but it’s just 12 pounds of gold and leather. It’s going to go right up on my mantle and collect dust, just like the other four of five I have.”
Only time will tell if Chandler can win back his lightweight belt later tonight and look better than ever while doing it.
MMAmania.com will deliver coverage of Bellator 212 tonight with Paramount fights starting at 9 p.m. ET. To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.