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Countdown to Bellator 141: Brent Primus—Look Out For Me

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On Friday, August 28th, Brent Primus (5-0), will face Derek Anderson (12-1) at Bellator 141 – Guillard vs. Girtz, in a fight that is sure to be exciting from the start and most likely to end in a finish well before the final bell rings. Anderson is a flashy striker who likes to press the action and Primus possesses excellent jiu-jitsu and very heavy hands. I recently had a chance to talk to Primus about his career and the upcoming fight.

CW– If I were handicapping this fight and had to put together a pro and con list for each fighter, I would definitely give you the advantage on the ground but I would have to give Anderson an edge in the standup.

BP– Yeah for sure, with some of the stats from some of the fights, I can see that. I 100% feel my ground game is superior. He better hope I don’t get him on the ground. I feel like my striking is just as good as his. I’ve been training with some of the top guys in the world in and out of my weight division. As an amateur I was knocking everybody out but since I got my black belt I’ve been being more technical and taking guys to the ground, but I feel like nobody has seen my potential and what I can really do. I’m anxious to show it in this fight. I feel like my standup is just as deadly as my ground game.

CW– I don’t see this fight going the distance. Both of you guys like to move forward and use a lot of pressure.

BP– I’m going to use his aggression to my advantage. I like to counter fight and counterstrike. He does like to pressure and come forward and I may use that to my advantage here. Like I said, when I was amateur, four of my fights were knock outs in less than 30 seconds, with my right hand. He doesn’t want to get hit by me. Ya know, I don’t want to get hit by him, but I feel like I can put him to bed with my right hand. I’m definitely confident in my striking and I can’t wait to show how well rounded I am.

CW– You don’t train at one of the really well known gyms but there are a lot of good guys at your home gym and they’re all right around your weight division.

BP– I train with Bam Bam Healy, and Ryan Healy, Rick Story, Mike Pierce, those are all guys at my gym. I got a great opportunity to train at the BMF Ranch with Cowboy Cerrone and Paul Felder and I’m going to go back and train some more with those guys soon.

CW– How was that?

BP– Not only are those guys badass fighters but they’re some the coolest, humblest guys. Just the coolest guys you could meet. It’s been the highlight of my career so far, to get to train with those guys.

CW– When Anderson fought Marcin Held, it seemed like he stayed on the ground longer than he needed to, to try and make a point about being able hang with a high level jiu-jitsu guy. Do you anticipate him trying that with you?

BP– That would be his worst mistake. I got to tell you, I love watching Marcin Held fight. His jiu-jitsu is beautiful. I love watching it, but I feel like mine is superior and its a little more technical. Anderson better not go to the ground with me. If he does, cheers man for trying, but it’s going to be a short night.

CW—Tell us a little about you jiu-jitsu background and training.

BP– On yeah, yeah. When I first started you know, I owned my own landscaping business. I went into the gym and I didn’t really know anything about jiu-jitsu. I got out on the mat and these guys that were smaller than me were throwing their legs over my head and submitting me and I was thinking, “What the hell is this?” I couldn’t believe guys smaller than me were tapping me out, and I was like, “OK.” I sold my landscaping business; I sold everything and basically lived at the gym. I competed in every single tournament and I could. I got my black belt under Wellington “Megaton” Diaz (Royler Gracie Jiu Jitsu Association), in Phoenix Arizona in like six years.

I won the American nationals, US open, Vegas open, Oregon open, in weight class and open weight. I feel that my ground game is superior to most guys in the cage. Most people have submission wrestling not really Brazilian jiu-jitsu, technical jiu-jitsu. To me the whole point of jiu-jitsu is to get to the back. Me, that’s my goal, to get to the back. I feel like there’s nothing they can do to me and I’m thinking, “Get to the back, get the submission.” I got a bunch chokes, good arm bars, leg locks. I’m very confident in my ground game.

Like I said, I feel like most guys have a submission wrestling not technical, methodical, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s a chess game. Ben Baxter and Glenn Clark are my BJJ coaches now. They’re the best guys in Oregon and I just feel so blessed for everything they’ve taught me.

CW– Tell me about that up kick you got caught with during the Jones fight.

BP– Yeah, it was kind of a weird thing. Once I got him to the ground, I was thinking, submission, submission, submission. You know, I knew my ground game was better than his, but as soon as that kick hit me I just saw red. I just started think, I’m going to knock this mo-fo out. At that point, I didn’t want to submit him anymore I just wanted to punch him as hard as I could and that’s what happened. Yeah, he landed that kick and I said screw submissions I’m knocking this dude out.

It kind of woke me up a little bit for sure. It was a great learning experience. It caught me off guard, I know for now when I’m on somebody and I’m passing the guard always lookout for that up kick. You can’t really train for that in the gym. No one is really up kicking in training; your training partner doesn’t want to hurt you. It definitely was an eye-opener and I feel blessed that happened to me. I didn’t feel like it rang my bell when it happened but when I watched it on TV later, yeah, it looked like it hurt me. But during the fight I was there the whole time and I was thinking and thinking, I heard my BJJ coach in the corner screaming, “Put your knee on the ground. Put your knee on the ground.” But I was thinking, “What? No way man,” because I like to be on my feet I think I’m way faster and more mobile on my guard passes because I think that’s one of my strong suits. I can pass anybody’s guard.

CW– You seem like one of the stronger guys at 155, in any promotion.

BP– I’d literally train my butt off. I train five times a day. A lot of people say I over train I do 500 push-ups every morning and I don’t even leave my house until I do my 250 pull-ups, everyday. I feel like I’m strong. I feel like I’m stronger than most 155ers.

CW—Derek Anderson has an impressive record. He represents a big step up in competition for you.

BP—For sure. I’m excited they give me a tough opponent. He has beaten some of the best guys in Bellator, in the 155 division. You know what? I’m just so happy they gave me the game opponent so I can prove what I can do on August 28th.

CW—Any final words for people who may not know who Brent Primus is?

BP– Look out for me. If you don’t know me now, you’ll know me soon. I know I’m going to be the champ someday; it’s just a matter of time. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me but I’m really excited about it.

CW—Thanks for your time Brent.

BP— Thank you man.

Brent Primus is only five fights into his pro career and is so far unranked, but he has been impressive in that short period of time. A win against Derek Anderson would put him on the radar of many inside the MMA world and boost him into the world rankings. If you want to be ahead of the curve on up and coming MMA fighters you should be watching Friday night, Primus seems like he is going to be around for a while and spend most of that time near the top.

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Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet

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Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Refereeing’s Loss is Bellator’s Gain

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When former Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith left the organization last week, not many expected MMA veteran referee, John McCarthy, to be his replacement. There is little doubt that McCarthy will make an excellent color analyst. However, it’s hard not to be disappointed that the sport is losing one of the best and most experienced referees.

McCarthy has been part of the fabric of MMA and the UFC in particular, since 1993. He was hugely influential in creating and enforcing the rules of the cage that have changed MMA into the respected sport it is today. Back in early to mid-nineties, the ‘sport’ was fairly labeled by some critics as ‘human cockfighting’. Without McCarthy as an instrumental player in changing regulations and rules, who knows where the MMA would be today.

What we have grown to appreciate most about McCarthy over the past two decades is how simple he makes this tough job look, which can be credited to years of experience and dedication. To the layman, it would appear that it’s a simple as stopping the fight when a fighter is knocked out or submitted. MMA fans know there’s a lot more to it than that.

It’s difficult to remember a moment in recent memory where McCarthy has let a fight go too long, or even stopped a fight too soon. His timing is almost always perfect. His composure and rationale in the cage are unmatched. When McCarthy is the third man in the Octagon we know the fighters are in safe hands.

It’s worth reiterating how important McCarthy is in maintaining the standard of referring and judging in the sport. The sport of MMA is still very young and is growing rapidly and so are the rules. The former LAPD police officer created his own training school known as C.O.M.M.A.N.D. The course teaches the next generation of MMA referees and judges, and there is no better person to be educated by. Referees must complete this or a similar course run by Herb Dean to be licensed as an official.

Former fighter Frank Trigg, who has pursued refereeing since his career wound down, has taken the course. He recently appeared on The MMA Hour to explain just how tough C.O.M.M.A.N.D is. It took Trigg three attempts to pass, emphasizing just how difficult a career path officiating is.

While ‘Big John’ as he is more affectionately known hasn’t completely left refereeing, he will likely no longer be seen in the cage at the biggest shows. The pool of referees trusted with the big title fights is rather small. Normally McCarthy and Herb Dean are tasked with the important title fights.

It’s not all bad that McCarthy is stepping aside for the time being. The likes of Mark Smith, Jason Herzog, and Chris Tognoni have all shown they are capable officials. There is now a great opportunity for them to move into the main event slots. There are also the likes of Yves Lavigne, Mike Beltran and Marc Goddard who can be trusted to referee the big fights.

While it is surprising, it’s understandable that McCarthy is looking for new career ventures. It is no secret that MMA referees are poorly paid relative to other sporting officials. Las Vegas often discloses referee pay when assignments are announced. The pay tends to range between $1000 and $2000 for the night. Trigg explained on The MMA hour that there is no money in becoming a referee and that most also have full-time jobs. McCarthy’s passion for the sport of MMA has been the biggest incentive for refereeing. It is totally understandable that he would take a bigger payday and put all his knowledge of the sport to good use in the commentary booth.

McCarthy will almost certainly be as dedicated to his new job as he was with his refereeing duties. He can also offer a fascinating insight into the officiating of a fight that nobody else can offer. If there wasn’t already an excuse to watch Bellator 192 on January 20th, headlined by Rory MacDonald vs Douglas Lima, then there most definitely is now.

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Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson the new main event at Bellator 192

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Bellator is getting ready to kick off their heavyweight grand prix at Bellator 192 on January 20th. The grand prix gets started with two former UFC greats who have now set their sights on Bellator gold, Chael Sonnen and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Today it was announced that this heavyweight matchup of two ordinarily light heavyweights will be getting the bump up to the main event. The reason for the change has not been announced.

The main event was scheduled to be the much anticipated welterweight matchup between champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald. Bellator has been promoting this event as such the welterweight title fight would get top billing. Earlier this week the fighters involved in the main and co-main event were part of a conference call. At the time there was no mention of the switch to the lineup.

This fight between Sonnen and Jackson is just the first in a series of heavyweight fights leading up to the crowning of the Bellator heavyweight championship in December. There has been great interest shown in this heavyweight grand prix between fans and media, which could attribute to the last minute change.

Lima vs. MacDonald will now serve as the co-main event on January 20th. Lima, who has been with Bellator since 2011 has been accused of being overlooked by the organization. He has held the welterweight title since November 2016 and perhaps has not gotten the showcases he deserves. This event will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

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