Michael Chandler has been waiting a long time to get his hands on Brent Primus.
It’s been nearly 18 months since Chandler fell to Primus thanks to a freak leg injury that stopped their first fight back in 2017. Since that time, the rematch has been talked about on numerous occasions but the fight never came together officially until now.
On Friday night in Hawaii as part of a two-night, two event Bellator MMA showcase, Chandler will get the opportunity to avenge his prior loss to Primus in the five round main event.
Well according to Chandler, that’s assuming Primus shows up this time.
“It’s crazy to talk about because I don’t want to jinx it,” Chandler told MMAWeekly. “It’s definitely one of those things I’m surprised we haven’t heard from him yet. I’m extremely pleased to have not heard anything from him yet. The fight has not started. Until that fight starts, I’m just praying to God that he’s able to make it to the cage.
“It’s a hard when you’re a part time fighter to muster up the finances to afford yourself a Hawaiian vacation. So now myself and Bellator are giving him that so I think he’s going to take that opportunity and he’s going to at least show up.”
Chandler has never passed up a chance to take a dig at Primus after the rematch between them has been rumored or scheduled several times over the past year and a half yet it still hasn’t happened.
It might seem like Chandler is thirsty for vengeance considering the strange way their first fight ended but he’s not obsessed with retribution.
The way Chandler sees it, his record says he has a loss to Primus in 2017 but he knows deep down inside that it wasn’t a defeat in the truest sense of the word.
“It’s a loss on my record. That’s really the only thing negative about this because you could look at my record and see a loss and see a TKO next to it and it doesn’t really tell the story of the fight. It doesn’t tell the story of the battle that happened that night. That’s the only unfortunate part,” Chandler said.
“It’s one of those scenarios where I don’t feel like I lost. I wasn’t embarrassed, I wasn’t beaten. I wasn’t outperformed. I wasn’t out worked. To a lot of people, I was the winner that night because I landed a punch that knocked him down and then told everybody I wanted to cut my leg off [to keep going]. Luckily for me, I get to run it back. I just pray to God he shows up and there will be bodily harm inflicted very much so in his direction.”
When it comes time to talk about what Primus does well or lacks in his overall mixed martial arts arsenal, Chandler says that he really doesn’t know what to expect out of the reigning Bellator lightweight champion.
All Chandler can do is get himself ready to the best of his abilities and prepare to clash with Primus on Friday night.
“We haven’t seen much in the last decade,” Chandler said about Primus. “Eight fights in the last decade so there’s not a lot to say about his career aside from the fact that it’s more often than not, not much of a career. We’ve been in the fight game around the same amount of time and I have three times as many fights as he does. Since we fought last, I’ve had two dominant wins.
“I respect that I have another man in front of me and I have a job to do and it so happens to be him.”
As much as it might seem like the Bellator lightweight title adds an even bigger element to this fight, Chandler quickly downplays that as part of his motivation.
At this stage of his career, Chandler says his goal is to engage in the biggest fights possible so the title is just a bonus at the end of the night but having a great performance is all he’s really worried about.
“The belt is just a shiny object. The belt is just a thing,” Chandler explained. “I want to go out there and put on great performances and inspire people and get them fired up and pumped up about life. If they can watch me put on a great performance after coming back from this freak injury, freak loss, that’s another notch in my story. That’s another chapter in my story.
“I could care less about him, about the belt, the championship, anything. I just want to go out there and perform.”
As far as a prediction goes, Chandler doesn’t mince words when it comes time to how he believes this fight will end.
He wants to leave no question in anybody’s mind who is the superior fighter when it comes to him against Brent Primus.
“First round KO,” Chandler said without blinking when asked for a prediction. “Not a TKO, a KO.”