As Bellator NYC looms closer and closer, I was able to talk with Bellator Lightweight Title challenger Brent Primus who will be taking on champion Michael Chandler. Primus is undefeated in his MMA career and will looking to utilize his BJJ black belt against Chandler’s accomplished wrestling background.
Matthew Peterson: How’s training camp going? Are you still training out of the Sports Lab in Oregon?
Brent Primus: Everything’s going really good. Actually Sports Lab shut down years ago, I’m actually training out of three gyms so I’ve been pretty busy. I’m training out of Performance Martial Arts in Springfield, Oregon. I’m training with Gracie Barra Portland and also out Team Oyama in California. I’m getting my traveling in.
Peterson: So what does it feel like, getting to fight for a world title at Madison Square Garden in New York?
Primus: I have to tell you man, it’s a dream come true. This is a lifetime opportunity, a lot of people train their whole lives and don’t get this opportunity. I’m excited, this is what all the hard and the sacrifices have been for. I’m so excited, this is a dream come true.
Peterson: This is going to be your first fight in over a year. Chael Sonnen talked about how ring rust was definitely a factor is his fight against Tito Ortiz. What’s your take on ring rust and your situation?
Primus: I guess I don’t know until it happens, but I don’t think it will affect me. This is my first time where I’ve had a year layoff and that’s how the game goes, people get injured and stuff happens. Right now, I’m a hundred percent mentally focused and I can’t wait to get in there and fight.
Peterson: What do you think are some key factors into staying prepared when a fighter has to take significant time off like you have?
Primus: Well, I think it’s good to try and fight a few times a year. At the same time, I’ve been in the gym as much as I can, training with top notch guys so it’s not like I’m on the couch. I’ve been training really hard and I feel good and ready.
Peterson: You’re fighting Michael Chandler, one of the best lightweights in the world. What are some problems Chandler brings in the cage and what can a fighter do to deal with those problems?
Primus: Like you said, I’m fighting one of the best guys in the world. There’s a lot of things that come with that, he’s got tons of experience and he’s fought some of the best guys. He’s been the champ for a long time and he’s a really really good wrestler. It’s going to be a great fight, I feel like my submission game is better than his. He’s one of the best in the world and it’s going to be a great challenge. I can’t wait to show everyone why I’m here.
Peterson: If you take a win over Chandler and win the title, are you looking at anyone in specific for the next fight?
Primus: I’m definitely not overlooking Chandler. I have a great challenge ahead of me, Chandler’s in my headlights and that’s what I’m focusing on.
Peterson: How has fighting in Bellator been for you and do you see a long future with the promotion?
Primus: Yeah man, I like Bellator. I wish I could have more fights for sure, but I think that’s to come. I’m getting my name out there with this fight and in the future, I’ll be getting three fights a year or so. Like I’ve said, they’ve been great and they’re picking up a lot of really good talent. I think it’s just getting better from here on out.
Peterson: Fantasy question for you. What if you could get a five round fight with any fighter in the world, nothing on the line but pride. Who would it be?
Primus: Dang, that’s a good question. Obviously I’d like to fight Conor McGregor. I think that’d be kind of cool. I think he’s overrated and I think that’s where the money’s at.
Peterson: Sound’s like he’s pretty booked up right now. Just saw the big announcement and his plate is full.
Primus: Yeah, for sure, for sure. I think it’s a good fight for him, money wise, but I don’t think he stands a chance against Mayweather. He’s getting himself in some deep waters, but he’s smart and he’s making himself a really nice paycheck.
Peterson: As a black belt in BJJ, do you have any advice for someone (myself) just starting out in grappling?
Primus: Just don’t get discouraged and stick with it. It’s a beautiful sport and it’s a long road. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be what it is. Stick with it, I’m telling you, it’s all worth it in the long run.
Peterson: Huge night of fights coming in for Bellator. Other than your fight, what fight are you most excited for on this card?
Primus: It’s a huge night. I’ve been a huge fan of Fedor since I started and I can’t wait to watch him fight. I’ve watched Wanderlei fight for a long time and I can’t wait to see him and Sonnen. I’m also really excited to watch Lorenz Larking and Douglas Lima, they’re both beasts and I can’t wait.
Peterson: Well, we can’t wait to see you fight on the 24th. Should be an awesome fight and we’re hoping to see a new champion that night.
Primus: I can’t wait. Thanks you much, I appreciate it.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS RELATED ARTICLE: MMATORCH INTERVIEW – RYAN COUTURE: “There’s no pressure (at Bellator) that seems to hang around at every UFC event.”