Brent Primus spoils Benson Henderson homecoming, calls for title opportunity

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PHOENIX – Brent Primus played the role of spoiler Saturday when he defeated beloved Arizonian fighter Benson Henderson at Bellator 268.

A former Bellator champion, Primus (11-2 MMA, 9-2 BMMA) defeated a former UFC champion in Henderson (28-11 MMA, 5-6 BMMA) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Bellator 268 took place Saturday at Footprint Center. The main card aired on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie.

In the opening round, both fighters had their moments on the feet. When the fight hit the canvas, Primus worked for a kimura submission off his back. He was able to roll Henderson over. As he cranked, however, “Smooth” proved his nickname accurate as he slickly utilized the momentum to break the grip. The two duked it out until the round ended.

In Round 2, the two fighters traded leg kick for leg kick. There were massive windups from Henderson on his strikes, which smacked Primus in the body, head, and legs. For the final minute of the round, Primus climbed the back of Henderson in a rear-naked choke attempt. With the local crowd cheering him on, Henderson survived until the buzzer.

For the vast majority of Round 3, Henderson fended off Primus submission attempts. From a guillotine choke to a rear-naked choke, Henderson survived but was dominated on the canvas bell-to-bell. The decision was not well received by the crowd, but Primus lobbied for a title opportunity through the boos and jeers.

The Bellator lightweight title is currently vacant, though the Bellator 270 bout between Patricky Freire and Peter Queally will crown a new champion.

With the win, Primus rebounds from a July loss to Islam Mamedov. The Oregonian lightweight has now won three of his most recent four outings. as for Henderson, the former UFC lightweight champion has lost three straight fights for the first time in his career.

The up-to-the-minute Bellator 268 results include:

  • Brent Primus def. Benson Henderson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Henry Corrales def. Vladyslav Parubchenko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Karl Albrektsson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Mukhamed Berkhamov def. Jaleel Willis via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:05

  • Nick Browne def. Bobby Lee via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:38

  • Javier Torres def. Gregory Milliard via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Sumiko Inaba def. Randi Field via submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:02

  • Lance Gibson Jr. def. Raymond Pina via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:44

  • Jaylon Bates def. Raphael Montini via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:49

  • Sullivan Cauley def. Deon Clash via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:59

  • Maria Henderson def. Collette Santiago via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:40

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