Bellator NYC lightweight title challenger Brent Primus told Cageside Press prior to the event that he was ready to “shock everybody” Saturday night in New York. Standing in his way was the promotion’s biggest homegrown star, reigning champion Michael Chandler.
It was five rounds with a title on the line, the third of three title fights Saturday night including Ryan Bader earning a split decision over Phil Davis to claim light heavyweight gold, and Douglas Lima retaining over Lorenz Larkin at welterweight.
So, could Primus, out of action for over a year, pull off the upset?
Primus opened looking to land a high kick that missed, while Chandler methodically stalked his opponent, pressing forward. A jab to the body by the champ was answered by a kick to the thigh, then a Primus kick to Chander’s arm knocked him back. It appeared Chander’s ankle was hurt, and Primus swarmed, targeting the injured lead leg of the champ, wobbling him again and again. Chandler could barely stand, and was in serious trouble!
Showing incredible heart, Chandler clipped Primus and tried to follow the shot up, but his leg gave out again. They squared off once more, but another instance of his leg giving way had the ref stopping the action to bring in the doctor. The fight was waved off, despite Chandler insisting he could continue, and Primus did just what he said, though not how anyone expected!
There’ll no doubt be a rematch down the road, but for now, Brent Primus is the new Bellator MMA lightweight champion!
Afterwards, Primus agreed to the rematch, and Chandler hollered “Cut it off! Cut this thing off, I’ll keep going!” in regards to the injury.
Brent Primus def. Michael Chandler by TKO (injury), Round 1, 2:22