Primus: Chandler Turned Down Rematch

Plenty will argue that Bellator Lightweight Champion Brent Primus is not the true champion. It was back at Bellator NYC this past June when Primus was challenging then-champion Michael Chandler for the title on pay-per-view. But during the first round of that bout, Chandler injured his leg and was forced to take the TKO loss, giving Primus the belt.

Chandler will return to Bellator action this coming January, but it won’t be a rematch for the title. Instead, Chandler will be dropping to welterweight facing Goiti Yamauchi on Jan. 20 at Bellator 192 in Los Angeles, California.

This move supposedly even took the champion by surprise. Primus tells MMA Fighting he was told about a likely title bout with Chandler to take place at Bellator 193, which takes place in Temecula, California, on Jan. 26.

“I waited a week for the contract and then they called me and said, ‘Chandler declined a rematch and he’s gonna fight at 170.’ I was like, ‘so he’s declining a title fight to go to 170?’ And they were ‘yeah, he doesn’t want to fight you right now.’ That’s how that went.”

Primus says that while he wasn’t going around and begging for the rematch, he has no idea why Chandler would give up a title shot to move a weight class.

“I know that I finished Chandler. I know there’s controversy, but I know that my leg kick caused the nerve damage. My cornerman knows it, his cornerman knows it, the doctors know it. I know what happened. For me there’s no controversy. I have nothing to prove. But fans want to see a rematch? I was 100 percent down for it. I’m the champion and I wanna fight the best.”

Primus is now targeting a title defense sometime within the first quarter of 2018.

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