Category Archives: Brent Primus

Homeless at 13 and selling drugs to survive, Brent Primus is now 1 win away from being a champion

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Brent Primus was about 16 when the men with guns came through his door demanding money and drugs. He had both, and everybody in Eugene, Ore., knew it, so maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprise. Still, something like that? It makes an impression.

“They told me they were going to come back and kill me,” Primus told MMAjunkie. “It was scary, man. I started hiding guns in every room of my house just in case they came back.”

Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA), who fights Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) for the Bellator lightweight title at Bellator NYC this Saturday night, also began to consider another possibility. Maybe it was time to change his life. Maybe the bumpy and at times thrilling road he was on was doomed to end in disaster. Maybe he had to find a way out.

When he looks back on it now, even Primus, 32, sometimes can’t believe that the story of his tumultuous youth didn’t end badly. It certainly started that way.

It started when he was 13 and his stepfather kicked him out of the house. The two of them never had a great relationship, and then suddenly it got much worse.

“My real dad was in prison pretty much my whole life,” Primus said. “My mom raised me and my brother, and she was the best mom ever, just worked her butt off to take care of us. But when I was about 9, she met a guy who ended up becoming my stepdad, and we just never got along. He was out of the military, and I’m not going to lie, I was probably a little smart-ass. I always had to get the last word in, and with him coming from the military, he didn’t like that. I think he just didn’t like me.”

So one day his stepfather told him to get out of the house, which is exactly what Primus did. So what if he was 13 years old with no money and no job and no skills?

“I think maybe he was thinking it would set me straight and I would come back begging to live with them again,” Primus said. “But I’ve always been hardheaded.”

Brent Primus family photo

He spent the next year or so staying in friends’ houses, bouncing from couch to couch, trying to survive. He did his best to find a job. He even got someone to drive him around to all the fast food places in Eugene so he could drop off applications. But they weren’t about to hire a 14-year-old kid, so Primus went to work in the fields at nearby farms, picking berries for cash wages.

“Then I met some hippie guy when I was about 14, and he gave me some weed and said, ‘See if you can sell this to your friends,’” Primus said. “I got rid of it in a day.”

Soon he was making hundreds of dollars a day selling marijuana, money he then used to buy his own landscaping business. He was cutting grass and trimming trees by day, and suppling three different area high schools with “the best pot around” by night.

He even had enough money to rent a place of his own, and you can guess how that went. Primus’ place quickly became the “party house,” owing to a complete lack of parental supervision and the teenage drug dealer who lived there.

“I didn’t have any parents to tell me to go to school or tell me what to do,” Primus said. “I’d take my buddies and we’d go to Walmart and buy video games and every single kind of junk food snack you can imagine, then bring it back to my place. At the time, I thought I was living the life. But deep down I had a lot of depression and anger. I was getting in a fistfight at least once or twice a week.”

The home invasion robbery was one sign that things might need to change. The state of his right hand, which had become a permanently bruised “black and blue club,” according to Primus, was another sure indicator. A friend pointed out that, as many fights as Primus got into, he should be getting paid for it. Why do something like that for free when other people did it for money?

So he signed Primus up for a local MMA fight. Primus figured sure, why not?

“I had zero training, none at all, so a couple weeks before the fight I went into a jiu-jitsu place to check it out and see what it was about,” Primus said. “I walked in there thinking 100 percent that I was going to put a whipping on everybody, and I just got my ass handed to me. I got choked out and beat up by all these guys who, I knew I was stronger and more athletic than them, but they knew Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I didn’t. I fell in love with it that day.”

Within a couple months, Primus had sold his landscaping business. He stopped selling marijuana. He stopped drinking and partying.

“I put everything I had into jiu-jitsu, and thank God, because it saved my life,” Primus said.

Brent Primus

These days he’s reconciled somewhat with his mother and stepfather. The process happened slowly, he said, and still sometimes it’s tough to leave the past in the past.

“At the same time it drove me to be who I am,” Primus said. “I remember being 13 and doing 1,000 pushups every day, 1,000 crunches, all because my stepdad told me I was a loser and I wanted to get strong enough to beat him up one day. It made me want to make something of myself to prove him wrong. I’m sure I wouldn’t be who I am today if I wasn’t for all that crap that happened then.”

It’s that same fortitude that Primus hopes will serve him well as he challenges for Chandler’s title. He’s giving up the edge in experience and wrestling ability, Primus said, and he doesn’t kid himself about that. He knows most people will probably be picking Chandler to win.

Still, to go from a kid who slept on bus station benches to a man who’s about to walk out into Madison Square Garden for a pay-per-view title fight, that took an act of will and pure stubbornness.

After all that, what’s there to be scared of in a televised cage fight? After beating the odds in innumerable private moments just to get here, who’s to say he couldn’t beat them again when the MMA world is watching?

For more on Bellator NYC, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden

We want your predictions for this week’s Bellator NYC event in New York City.

In late 2015, we expanded upon our traditional staff picks to include the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the Bellator NYC staff picks we release on Friday ahead of the event. Bellator NYC takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following the Bellator 180 portion on Spike and MMAjunkie.

* * * *

Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva

Records: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Sonnen 1-4, Silva 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None

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Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione

Records: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), Matt Mitrione (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA)
Past five: Emelianenko 5-0, Mitrione 3-2
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: Mitrione No. 14

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Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin

Records: Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA), Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Lima 4-1, Larkin 4-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Larkin No. 8, Lima No. 12

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Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus

Records: Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA), Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA)
Past five: Chandler 4-1, Primus 5-0
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Chandler No. 11

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Aaron Pico vs. Zach Freeman

Records: Aaron Pico (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), Zach Freeman (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Pico 0-0, Freeman 3-2
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None

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Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader

Records: Phil Davis (17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), Ryan Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA)
Past five: Davis 4-1, Bader 4-1
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: Davis No. 3, Bader No. 4

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For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator NYC pre-event facts: Wanderlei Silva's return backed by strong numbers

The biggest event in Bellator history takes place Saturday when the promotion touches down in New York City for the first time with Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 at Madison Square Garden.

The Bellator NYC lineup, which features two title fights and airs on pay-per-view, is headlined by one of MMA’s most heated grudge matches when Chael Sonnen (28-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) finally meets former PRIDE champ Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in the light-heavyweight headliner.

Bellator NYC’s PPV lineup follows a four-fight offering on Spike, which is headlined by a light heavyweight title rematch. Current titleholder Phil Davis(17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) puts his belt on the line against Ryan Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who edged “Mr. Wonderful” by split decision under the UFC banner in January 2015.

For more on the numbers behind Bellator’s most stacked fight card to date, check out 30 pre-event facts for Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

* * * *

Main event

Chael Sonnen

Sonnen enters the event with just one victory in his past five fight dating back to July 2012. His lone victory in that stretch came against Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013.

Sonnen has suffered 14 of his 15 career losses by stoppage.

Silva, 40, is the oldest of the 18 fighters scheduled to compete at Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

Silva returns to competition for the first time since March 3, 2013. The 1,574-day layoff is the longest of his more than 20-year career.

Silva competes outside the UFC or PRIDE FC organizations for the first time since August 2000.

Silva’s 40 appearances in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied with Dan Henderson for most in combined organizational history.

Silva’s 27 victories in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are the most in combined organizational history.

Silva’s 20 stoppage victories in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are second most in combined organizational history behind Mirko Filipovic (21).

Silva has alternated wins and losses over his past six fights. He defeated Brian Stann by knockout in his most recent bout at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in March 2013.

Co-main event

Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is 2-0 since he returned from retirement in December 2015.

All of Matt Mitrione’s (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) career bouts have come under the Bellator or UFC banner.

Mitrione has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by stoppage.

Mitrione has earned all 10 of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Remaining main card

Douglas Lima

Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) competes in his 12th Bellator welterweight bout, tied with Andrey Koreshkov for the most appearances in divisional history.

Lima’s nine victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied with ex-champ Ben Askren for second most in divisional history behind Koreshkov (10).

Lima has earned 24 of his 28 career victories by stoppage.

Lima’s seven stoppage victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history.

Lima’s eight knockout victories in Bellator competition are most in company history.

Lima’s seven knockout victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history.

Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is 4-1 since he dropped to the welterweight division in January 2015.

Larkin has earned all three of his welterweight stoppage victories by knockout.

Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) competes in his 17th Bellator bout, tied for the second most appearances in company history behind David Rickels (18).

Chandler competes in his ninth Bellator title fight, the most in company history.

Chandler’s five Bellator title-fight victories are tied with Eduardo Dantas and Askren for most in company history. His three title-fight loses are most in company history.

Chandler’s 13 victories in Bellator competition are second most in company history behind Patricio Freire (14).

Chandler’s 10 stoppage victories in Bellator competition are tied with Freire for most in company history.

Brent Primus’ (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) five-fight Bellator winning streak in lightweight competition is tied with Adam Piccolotti for the longest active streak in the division.

Bellator 180 main card

Phil Davis

Davis’ four-fight winning streak in Bellator light-heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Bader makes his Bellator debut following a UFC tenure in which he made 20 light-heavyweight appearances, the most in company history.

Bader enters the event with seven victories in his past eight fights. The lone defeat in that stretch came against Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 18 in January 2016.

Bader owns a split-decision victory over Davis at UFC on FOX 14 in January 2015.

James Gallagher

James Gallagher (6-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), 20, is the youngest of the 18 fighters scheduled to compete at Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

Heather Hardy (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), a professional boxing standout, makes her MMA debut at the event.

For complete coverage of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie