Brent Primus is a Lightweight (6-0), currently fighting for Bellator MMA. He fights at Bellator 153 against Gleristone Santos, a notable card for the organisation as it marks the debut of Benson Henderson after making the switch from the UFC.
Could you tell us about your background & why you got into MMA?
I’ve always been competitive. I’ve played soccer my whole life, on club teams and traveled when I was younger. I used to want to be a professional soccer player. I was so competitive and hard-headed I never backed down from anybody and ended up getting in a lot of fights. My friend, who is now my BJJ coach, Ben Baxter, came up to me and told me, “If you’re beating people up, you might as well be making money doing it,” and signed me up for my first fight. Two weeks out from my fight, I went into a BJJ gym and got submitted and tapped out by guys half my size and was hooked! I sold my landscaping business, I cleaned the mats and mowed my coaches lawn to pay my dues so I could train daily. I went to every tournament I could and got my black belt in 6 years. Jiu Jitsu literally saved my life. There’s something about bowing to your instructor, your teammates, and most importantly your opponents. It taught me respect, it humbled me and made me a better person and now I’ve been able to make a career out of it!
When I first saw MMA, the first UFCs, I thought it was crazy and never thought I would do it until I started Jiu Jitsu. I realized there was so much technique and skill involved! I started winning Jiu Jitsu tournaments and could use that in fights. In my first fights, I fought out of anger and won most of my amateur fights with KOs and TKOs; but once I started getting better at Jiu Jitsu, it was all about skill and technique and it literally became a chess match. My confidence went up and I realized I could really make a career out of this.
Every morning I do 1200 sit ups, 250 pull ups and 150 jump squats. I train at least once to twice a day. In the evenings I do 150 ab wheels & 500 inverted push ups and 1000 sit ups every day except Sunday. And that’s not when I’m in fight camp 🙂
Once I sign a contract I still do all of that but go to the gym 3-4 times a day, an hr of conditioning 3 times a week and sprints the days I don’t go to conditioning. People say I overtrain but I think the human body can adapt to anything. It’s all mental! I’ve always said what you do outside of the gym sets you apart from everyone else.
You are fighting Gleristone Santos at Bellator 153. How much of a threat does he pose to your undefeated record?
I think anybody at this level is a threat. The way I train and how much I train gives me the confidence to know that I can go in there and beat anybody at any level. I know if I fight to my potential that I can go in there and beat anyone they put in front of me.
The Bellator 153 card is notable as it marks the beginning of Benson Henderson’s chapter in Bellator. Do you think we will see more fighters make the move over from the UFC to Bellator?
Yes I do. I think the whole Reebok deal, taking sponsorship money and opportunity from fighters was a big game changer for Bellator and other organizations.
What is your opinion on the infamous Reebok deal with the UFC?
As I just stated above, its a real bummer for fighters in the UFC.
Taking nothing away from Bellator, but the UFC is the biggest & most popular MMA organisation in the world. Is fighting for them something you would consider/aim for or are you focussed on staying with Bellator?
I got signed by Bellator when I was 2-0. It was hard to find fights locally and they signed me and gave me a chance and I’ve been honored to fight for them. Even more so now that they’re getting bigger and more fighters are coming on board after jumping ship from UFC. I think the events and opportunities with Bellator are going to continue to get bigger and bigger!
What is your opinion on the current state of the Lightweight scene in MMA? And where do you rank yourself amongst them.
I think the Lightweight division is one of the toughest in MMA. I feel like with my technique, my training and work ethic I can beat anybody.
Very few of us will ever experience the feeling of waiting backstage to get into a cage and fight another man. Could you tell us what goes through your mind in the minutes before you walk out?
It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. Just knowing some guy has trained to knock me out in front of millions of people is a crazy feeling. Standing there I say goodbye to my family and friends in my head. I pray to God. I’m literally ready to die out there before I’d quit. It’s such a rush walking out into that cage. It’s a feeling that lets you know you’re truly alive.
There are thousands of MMA fighters around the world all with aspirations to be the very best in the world. What, in your opinion, makes someone great rather than good?
I think it’s a crazy work ethic, a strong mind set, one that never quits. You literally have to be willing to put everything you have on the line and rather die than lose.
To what do you attribute your successful career to date?
My teammates, coaches, family and friends support. My step dad for giving me hell when I was younger. The struggles I’ve been through in my life that have made me the crazy, hard-headed, competitive athlete I am today, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
No matter what I’ll be doing martial arts and Jiu Jitsu. I’ll be teaching and competing in Jiu Jitsu until I can’t walk.
Quick Fire questions:
When you think of a person being successful, who first comes to mind?
My Grandpa. He owns his own logging business, has an amazing family, is the hardest working man, and I think he can fix and do anything; he is there for all of us whenever we need him. I hope I’m half the man he is some day.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone what would it be?
Never set limitations and let people tell you what you can and can’t do. There’s nothing stronger than a strong mindset.
Who would be your dream fight? Past & present (so YOU vs someone)
I like to challenge myself and I would’ve loved to fight Takanori Gomi back in the Pride days!
Favourite activity outside of MMA?
Jiu Jitsu, camping, hanging out with my family.
One food you couldn’t live without?
Sweets and pastries/ carbs.
Your biggest hero?
And finally, do you FeelTheTip?
Yes! Lol I Feel The Tip!