Bellator 296’s Brent Primus: “I’m Going to Be the Champion Again”

Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion Brent Primus has advanced to the semifinal round of the promotion’s Lightweight Grand Prix, care of a decision win over highly-touted French 155’er Mansour Barnaoui.

Things weren’t always looking so rosy for Primus. Initially, he was left out of the tournament entirely, until luck came calling, in the form of a failed drug test on the part of Sidney Outlaw.

Outlaw dropped out, Primus jumped in against Barnaoui, and on Friday, utilized his grappling to secure victory.

“It felt great. I thought he was going to come in strong like that, and then kind of thought, it’s a five round fight, he might kind of take it easy,” Primus (12-3) told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “But from start to finish, it was non-stop fast pace. It was a good fight.”

Primus knew he had to watch out for Mansour Barnaoui’s sweeps and back-take, but believed that his ground game was much better than his opponent. That proved accurate. “I knew that he wasn’t going to submit me. I knew that,” stated Primus.

Now, Primus, who held Bellator’s lightweight title from 2017 to 2018, winning the belt from Michael Chandler then losing it back to him in a rematch, has champ Usman Nurmagomedov next.

“Let’s go man. Let’s go. I’ve been asking Bellator for that fight. I think it was a year, year and a half ago, I was begging to fight him. Man, if you work hard and you believe in yourself, things happen, and here we go. I get a shot at the title, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Expressing his respect for Nurmagomedov and his camp, Primus added “I’m going to win that fight, and I’m going to be the champion again.”

Asked how he sees that title fight playing out, however, Primus admitted that he’ll need to speak with his team and come up with a game plan for the undefeated Dagestani, a cousin of UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“I gotta sit down and talk to my coaches and get a game plan. But like I said, I feel comfortable with my stand-up, I feel comfortable on the ground. I know that he is probably better on his feet, but like I said, I’m going to talk to my coaches, we’ll sit back and watch all his fights, we’ll get a good game plan and we’ll be ready for him.”

Watch the full Bellator 296 post-fight press conference with Brent Primus above.