Former Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler is set to face Goiti Yamauchi this coming January at Bellator 192.
Brent Primus is the current lightweight champion and he claims that Chandler turned down an opportunity at the gold.
"I’m really surprised, especially because about a month ago I got a call from Bellator and I had a date and a time to fight Chandler,” Primus told MMA Fighting. "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. You texted me today saying he’s fighting Yamauchi and that was total shock. I was just thinking ‘he has a chance to fight me for the belt and now he’s gonna fight someone in the same weight class as me?’ It’s weird.”
Primus won the title when he defeated Chandler at Bellator 180 after the former champion suffered an injury during their bout. The lightweight champion wanted another bout with Chandler, but he believes that as champion, the focus should be on the next title defense.
"Honestly, I don’t care,” Primus said. "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. It’s crazy that me and him were supposed to fight in a rematch and I find out that he’s fighting before me. I’m the champion, I should be fighting and defending this belt."
Bellator 192 takes place on Saturday, January 20 from The Forum in Inglewood, California with Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Spike TV.