Brent Primus is fighting Bellator MMA lightweight champion Michael Chandler at the organization’s upcoming pay-per-view event, Bellator: NYC, which he believes will sell very well.
If Brent Primus’ pay-per-view prediction comes true, Bellator MMA will have a good night on June 24.
The undefeated Primus, who challenges lightweight champion Michael Chandler this summer at Bellator’s second pay-per-view event and its debut in Madison Square Garden, believes the card will surpass buy-rate expectations and be more than successful.
Though non-UFC pay-per-view events in mixed martial arts have historically not done well, Bellator MMA’s first pay-per-view show, Bellator 120, in May 2014 did better than expected, selling approximately 100,000 pay-per-views.
Primus is optimistic Bellator MMA will once again surprise.
“I think that this pay-per-view is going to do awesome,” Primus told BloodyElbow.com’s The MMA Circus. “Just look at all the guys fighting on the card. If you’re not interested in watching this fight and you’re not going to order it, then I really don’t think you’re an MMA fan, just straight up. How could you not want to watch Fedor and Matt Mitrione and Chael and Wanderlei and Larkin and Lima? I don’t understand how you would not want to watch the card. It being in New York City and Madison Square Garden, that’s just like icing on the cake.”
Primus enjoyed watching the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Wanderlei Silva back when he was just a fan of the sport. He said it’s surreal to share the Bellator: NYC main card with them, as well as other notable fighters, years later.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I’m fighting in New York City in Madison Square Garden. That even just sounds crazy to me. When I first started watching MMA, I was ordering all the Prides, and Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko were my idols. I looked up to them; they were the most badass dudes ever. To fight on the same card as them, it’s a dream come true, and I’m so excited. I’m going to soak it all in.”
Primus admitted that he didn’t totally expect to get the next 155-pound title shot. He was forced to turn down a short-notice shot at Chandler last year and figured that may have not helped his future title hopes.
“It’s a little surprising. I actually got an offer to fight Chandler after my last fight last year, but I had an injury in my foot and my knee was swollen for months,” he said. “I was thinking about signing the contract and just going in there and just throwing down, but at the same time, I was undefeated, I was winning. I thought that if they set up opponents for me, I’d knock them down, and I’d eventually get another title shot.”
Primus has been healthy since late last summer, however, and had been getting somewhat frustrated before the Chandler booking because so many opponents were getting injured.
“I don’t like sitting out for so long. I wish I could get at least two or three fights a year — that’d be what I’d want,” he said. “I think one of the biggest things is staying focused and surrounding yourself with good training partners and good coaches. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m gonna train with some of the best guys around, and I’m gonna go in there and be prepared mentally and physically.”
Primus will be entering the biggest fight of his career on a 14-month layoff. He is thrilled to be fighting the champ, but admitted that a warm-up fight might have been a good idea. He said ring rust won’t be a factor because he’s dealt with layoffs in the past, but in the off chance he’s not himself in his return, he would have preferred that to be in a lesser bout.
“It would’ve been nice to have a regular, three-round fight before, just to get everything out and to get my mental game focused or whatever,” Primus said. “But even when I’m not fighting, I’m still training two or three times a day. This is a humongous opportunity. There are so many people out there that train their whole lives and don’t get this opportunity that I’m at now. So there’s no way I could’ve said no to this opportunity.”
Primus has everything to gain at Bellator: NYC, including notoriety. He’s on the pay-per-view main card of one of the organization’s biggest events to date, alongside some of the sport’s most familiar faces. Primus expects to walk away on June 24 with not only the belt, but also a larger following than before.
“The more times people see me or hear my name, that’s good, obviously,” he said. “It’s going to be humongous for my career. There’s not too many people who really know who I am or know what I’m capable of doing. This is a big step for me, and a spot to put me in the spotlight.”
New Bellator MMA featherweight champion Patricio Freire told BloodyElbow.com’s The MMA Circus prior to his title fight with Daniel Straus that he doesn’t believe Primus deserves the title shot over his brother, Patricky. But Primus isn’t bothered by that.
“I’m fighting for the belt. Talking about Patricky and all these guys, I’m talking peanuts. I’m eating filet mignon on the 24th, not peanuts,” he said. “Patricky and those guys haven’t even crossed my mind. Not only that, Patricky fought Chandler in his last fight and almost got his head knocked off. I definitely think that Patricky is not up to the title shot, that’s for sure. Talking peanuts about Patricky and all these guys is just kind of a waste of time for me right now.”
Primus, who will most likely be the underdog against Chandler, is more than ready for his toughest challenge to date.
“I train so hard. I put everything I have into these training camps. I literally have no life outside just training, working out, and eating super healthy,” he said. “I’m ready no matter what. I’m gonna go out there and take full advantage of this opportunity, and I’m gonna shock everybody.”