A freak injury forced lightweight champion Michael Chandler to give up his belt to Brent Primus at Bellator NYC on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Chandler entered the fight coming off of four consecutive victories, including taking the title from Patricky Freire and then defending it against Benson Henderson. Primus came into the fight wanting to shock the world and prove that his unblemished record could stand up to the critics.
Although it may have only served to fire up his doubters with the way the fight ended, Primus walked away with the lightweight championship on Saturday night.
The fight started off with the usual feeling out period, but just as it was getting underway, it all came crashing down, particularly for Chandler.
As Primus launched a kick, Chandler shuffled backward to avoid it. As he did so, his ankle folded awkwardly under him and he slipped briefly to a knee.
Sensing that Chandler was hurt, Primus charged forward, launching leg kick after leg kick at Chandler’s injured limb. All the while, Chandler did his best to stay on his feet, barely able to put any weight on his left foot.
Primus came charging in and Chandler rocked him with a right hand, but as Chandler moved forward, his leg gave out and he stumbled. The referee stopped the fight and called the doctor to the cage. After examining Chandler’s ankle, the fight was stopped on recommendation of the doctor.
It was a sour ending to the fight, but Primus took it in stride, accepting the Bellator lightweight championship with enthusiasm.
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“I trained my butt off. I sacrificed everything. That’s the name of the game. Anything can happen,” said Primus, before offering that Chandler deserved to run it back.
“He deserves (a rematch). He’s a champion. I look up to Chandler. I have for a long time. He’s a beast.”
Primus won’t have to wonder if Chandler will accept a second fight.
“Brent Primus, you better train freaking hard boy because I’m coming back with a vengeance,” said Chandler before exiting the cage.
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