Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Brent Primus, one of the brightest young stars in MMA. Primus is currently gearing up to fight Gleristone Santos at Bellator 153, which will take place tomorrow, April 22, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
After speaking with him, I'm convinced that Primus is one of the last, few undiscovered prospects in the MMA business.
Undefeated through his first six professional fights, Primus seems to be on the brink of stardom. Indeed, the Oregon native has gained momentum after collecting wins in all four of his fights under the Bellator MMA banner.
He knocked out fellow lightweights Brett Glass and Chris Jones before recently handing Derek Anderson just the second loss of his young career at Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz. The win against Anderson was the longest fight of Primus's career so far, as he's finished his previous five bouts in the first round.
Here's what he had to say about the bout, his life and a fighter's mentality.
What was your earliest memory of MMA?
Well honestly, I remember watching some of the first UFCs way back in the day, thinking, 'Oh my gosh, these guys are crazy, I would never do that.' And yeah, I had a little bit of a rough childhood, I might've had a little bit of anger in me from me and my stepdad and I kinda got in a few fights here and there.
Rather than letting that typical fighter's mentality become a source of negativity in his life, Primus channeled it to become a positive:
"I remember my [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] instructor said to me, 'Well, if you're going to go out there and beat people up in the streets, you might as well get paid to do it.' So he signed me up for a cage fight, and I hadn't trained ever. And so I was like, 'If I'm going to fight in a cage with somebody I might as well go in a gym and see what it's all about.'"
He delved into what it's like to start training for the first time and to really test your will:
"So I walked into this jiu-jitsu gym and I got submitted, and people threw their legs over my head and were choking me and I was like, 'Oh my God, this is insane.' I fell in love with it instantly. At the time I had a business, I sold it, and began training every day, all day long."
Falling in love with the sport is akin to falling in love with a woman:
"And then I started competing in little tournaments, then I kept winning and placing in nationals, worlds, pan-Americans — I really fell in love with the martial art. And then after that I did some MMA and knew it wasn't about anger and going in and throwing down — it's about martial arts and technique. I started winning all my fights and fell in love with the sport, slowly. It kind of just fell in my lap and I started loving it."
He's an awesome dude and a great fighter.
Check him out tomorrow night at Bellator 153, which airs Friday, April 22 on Spike TV.