Former Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus returns to action this weekend, looking to bounce back from a controversial loss to Islam Mamedov.
Primus (10-2) was vocal following the fight that he’d won, and pursued the rematch. While he’ll instead face former UFC champ Benson Henderson at Bellator 268 this Saturday, “I still think I won that fight,” he told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “I think that he was just defending the whole time. He wasn’t trying to advance position, he wasn’t trying to finish me, he wasn’t trying to punch me hard. It was just kind of a weird fight.”
With some time to reflect, Primus noted that Mamedov “had some good takedowns. But other than that, he didn’t really do anything.”
Now, however, it’s on to a whole new opponent. “All the stars aligned, and I think I have a way better fight now with Benson. He’s ranked higher, and Benson brings the fight. He’s going to try to finish the fight.”
Primus vs. Henderson is a fight that, were it booked in 2019, could have potentially been for Bellator’s lightweight title. Henderson had put together a four-fight win streak. Primus was a former champ coming off a win. Instead, the division was forced to wait on Patricio Pitbull, who just weeks ago vacated the 155lb title, going two full years without ever defending it.
“I’m happy that the belt is now going to be with 155ers, true lightweights, but at the same time I think that Peter Queally-Patricky [Pitbull] fight is a joke,” opined Primus. “I think it should not be happening. After I finish Benson, I’m going to target whoever wins that fight, and I’m coming after them.”
Queally vs. Pitbull 2 happens early next month in Dublin, and Patricky’s spot in the title fight, and Queally’s as well, has Primus irked.
“I don’t think Patricky should be in line. I don’t think he should be ranked number one. He’s coming off two losses, and like I said, I think it’s a complete joke,” said Primus. “I don’t know how he’s ranked number one when he’s lost his last two fights. How is that possible?”
“The same with Peter Queally,” continued Primus. “I think he’s fought twice in the last three years, and he hasn’t really fought anybody in the top ten besides Patricky, which, he beat him.” Primus isn’t sold on the pair needing a rematch just because Pitbull lost due to a cut after being ahead in the fight, either. “Patricky got caught with an elbow. An elbow’s a legal strike. He got caught with that, he was bleeding like crazy. I think when he was starting to lose, he was starting to get tired. You saw that double leg, which he usually doesn’t do; he got caught with that elbow, and he lost the fight fair and square.”
“I just think him fighting for the title is, just so annoying, and I’ll say it again, it’s a joke.”
One thing Primus touched on in his criticism of Patriky Pitbull getting a title shot was the rankings. Pitbull is, according to the rankings, next in line despite losing two straight. Primus himself isn’t ranked, despite being 2-1 in his last three.
“I was really pissed off actually when they came out,” admitted Primus, who reached out to the promotion, only to learn that the rankings were voted on by media members. “Bellator literally does not do those rankings. It’s all the media and everything, so don’t take it to heart. Bellator told me the same thing, like don’t really pay attention to that too much — we’re still going to give you a good fight. And here I am fighting Benson Henderson.”
“I think everything happens for a reason, and I’m fighting somebody that’s way more well-known.”
Brent Primus faces Benson Henderson this Saturday, October 16 as part of the Bellator 268 main card at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.