Brent Primus now gets shot at lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix following Bellator 296 win over Mansour Barnaoui.
Brent Primus and Mansoui Barnaoui put on quite the back-and-forth showing, with each man looking to control the fight at the pace they wanted. But Primus had more in the tank and controlled more rounds, giving him the win in their Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix quarterfinal matchup that served as the Bellator 296 co-main event.
As a result of this win, Primus will now receive a title shot against defending lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov in the semifinals of the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix.
Both men started to throw right away as Barnaoui locked Primus in a clinch against the cage, with the two trading against the cage. Primus briefly got in control but Barnaoui was briefly able to get to Primus's back. Barnaoui landed a clean right hand and some knees to the body of Primus.
The two continued to trade with Barnaoui having better success in the clinch with elbows and knees. Barnaoui missed a flying right knee. Primus was able to hurt Barnaoui with a one-two, but Barnaoui landed a takedown in the first round's final minute. Primus threw up a guard, but Barnaoui got through it as Primus looked for a kimura.
Bellator 296: Brent Primus gets nod over Mansour Barnaoui
Barnaoui landed a right and looked to get back to the clinch right away in the second. But Primus was able to reverse and take Barnaoui down. By doing this, Primus was able to slow the pace of the fight and lock in an arm-triangle choke. Barnaoui was able to get out of the choke and looked for an armlock but was unable to lock it in. Primus was back in control on top landing shots, but Barnaoui pulled off a sweep in the closing seconds to reverse position.
The two traded at the start of the third round, boxing away with Primus landing the cleaner strikes. Barnaoui, however, was on the front foot and made damage of his own through Muay Thai elbows and punches. Barnaoui continued to work Primus over, rocking him with some elbows inside and knocking him down. Primus looked for a desperation kimura, but Barnaoui was on top and landed some ground-and-pound. Primus managed to reverse and looked for a choke but was unable to lock it in.
Primus seemed to have success early in the fourth round, working over the jab and slowing the pace again, even walking through a Barnaoui knee. Primus scored a takedown and was able to get through a Barnaoui triangle attempt. Primus got back in mount and looked for in an arm-triangle choke, not allowing Barnaoui much offense in the round. Barnaoui finally got free in the last seconds, looking for another straight armlock as Primus looked for a rear-naked choke (similar to round two).
Primus looked to continue the success and close out the fight with another takedown in the final round's first minute. Primus again showcased his control, including a body lock on Barnaoui. Primus locked in a rear-naked choke in the last 30 seconds of the fight, and while Barnaoui survived, Primus completely dominated him via grappling again.
All three judges gave the fight to Primus 48-47.