bellator 296

Former champion Brent Primus defeats Mansour Barnaoui at Bellator 296, will receive next title shot at 155 lbs

Brent Primus comes up big

Bellator MMA returned to us today, May 12, 2023, for Bellator 296, going down live from the Accor Arena in Paris, France.

Headlining the event is a 185 lb showdown between former two-time Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) and UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards’ little brother, Fabian Edwards (11-2).

Co-headlining the event is a lightweight bout between former Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus (12-3) and former M-1 Challenge & BAMMA lightweight champion Mansour Barnaoui (20-5).

Brent Primus came into the bout having lost his most recent appearance to Alexandr Shabliy, following a victory over former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in October of 2021.

Mansour Barnaoui on the other hand came in on an eight-fight win streak, all eight wins via stoppage (six rear naked chokes), with his most recent defeat coming to no. 7 ranked UFC lightweight contender Mateusz Gamrot in a KSW title fight back in 2016.

Continue reading to see how this lightweight encounter went down:

Official Result: Brent Primus def. Mansour Barnaoui via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

These two got right to it once the bout began with absolutely no feeling-out process.

Primus pressed the action in search of a takedown along the fence early on, though he ate a lot of punches and elbows, as well as knees to the head and body in doing so. This goes on for the majority of round one, the pace was insane.

Barnaoui gets absolutely mauled throughout round two; Primus secures an early takedown about 10 seconds in and comes very close to securing an arm-triangle choke finish, though Barnaoui defends correctly and gets himself out of it. He remains on his back through the entire round until about 15 seconds were left in it, where he surprisingly swept Primus and ended the round on top.

Barnaoui is able to keep the fight on its feet in the third, as he batters Primus with more punches, elbows, and knees from in close, many of them coming from the clinch. Primus drops to his back in the middle of the round as a result of a knee he ate, though he secures a sweep himself in the final minute of the round.

Primus then tries to wrap up a D’Arce choke, before settling into a mounted crucifix where he ends the round on top.

Primus is able to get the fight back down to the mat in the fourth and wins it with his grappling. He had Barnaoui locked in an arm-triangle choke for about two minutes straight but couldn’t seem to get the correct angle on it to secure a finish.

Primus gets Barnaoui back down to the mat in the fifth and final round, taking his back in the final minute and nearly securing the finish with a rear naked choke.

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!