According to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus is out of his April 13 lightweight title defense against Michael Chandler at Bellator 197 due to a knee injury. As a result Brandon Girtz – who is also from the same management group as Primus – takes this main event matchup on less than a month’s notice.
Bellator Champion Sidelined
Primus (7-0) has only fought three times since mid-2015 due to opponent changes and injuries. The 32-year-old captured the lightweight title at Bellator NYC last June by TKO due to an injury to Chandler. The pair were aiming for a rematch late last year but with Primus becoming a first-time father, the timing didn’t work out. It’s unclear based on the report how long the Oregon native will be out for.
Chandler (17-4) heads into this matchup off a unanimous decision victory over Goiti Yamauchi at Bellator 192 which was his first non title bout since Nov. 2015. The 31-year-old has turned things around after losing three-straight fights from 2013 to 2014. Chandler has won five of his last six fights since that skid. The Hardknocks 365 standout has never lost a three-round fight in his 21-fight career. Chandler also holds wins over Patricky Freiere, Eddie Alvarez and former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. A University of Missouri product, Chandler will no doubt have the home crowd on his side on Apr. 13.
Girtz Steps Up On Short Notice
Girtz (15-7) recently got back in the win column after defeating SBG standout Luka Jelcic at Bellator 190 in Italy back in December. Prior to that, the Colorado native was in the midst of a career high three-fight skid which saw him with losses against Adam Piccolotti, Fernando Gonzalez and Derek Campos. The 33-year-old now looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since Nov. 2015. Girtz is a teammate of UFC lightweight standout Justin Gaethje and holds wins over Drew Dober, Michel Quinones and UFC veteran Melvin Guillard.
Here’s Girtz’s interview with Sports Illustrated MMA talking about the matchup
Who wins between Michael Chandler vs. Brandon Girtz at Bellator 197? Comment below and tell us what you think!