Bellator 229: Derek Anderson Focused on Bomba, But Still Gunning for Primus Rematch

Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson Credit: Dave Mandel/

After over a year away from the cage, Derek Anderson returns to action at Bellator 229, taking on Brazil’s Guilherme Bomba.

When he returns to the cage this Friday at Bellator 229, it will have been over a year since we last saw Derek Anderson. Historically a lightweight, Anderson has a 170lb tilt scheduled with Guilherme Bomba. That’s an exciting match-up for a return fight, and it’s had Anderson chomping at the bit to get back in there, after a over a year away, in part because of a car crash.

“I’m good. It took me out of the cage for a little while there,” he told Cageside Press ahead of this weekend’s return. “But I’m good now, I’m ready to go.”

While he was driving at the time, if it were left to him, Anderson would spend his time on his motorcycle instead. He found a love of riding growing up, having been around other riders via his mom. “I kind of get crap for my style out there on the road sometimes, because I dress like an old Harley rider or something like that. But I don’t know what’s so cool about a damn crotch rocket, you know what I mean? This is my style.”

“If times were easier, I’d be living on my motorcycle, cruising the country,” he added.

Instead, he’s poised for a big return against Bomba. Yet if you’re worried about ring rust, even when he couldn’t train fully, “I just kept at it,” said Anderson. “I stayed away from hard sparring, but I’d still be doing running, bag work, just what I could. I knew everything was going to come back around.”

He admits, however, that he “contemplated retirement, stuff like that, but I’ve still got it in me, I’ve got to do this.”

“Why hang it up?” he questioned. Anderson compared his situation to Muhammed Ali, as even with Parkinson’s Disease, he was a tough individual who held his head high. And in Ali’s case, was worth more than anyone who might have questioned him.

“I’m going to live my best life. I don’t care what’s left of me when I’m older,” said Anderson. “I’m here to fight. I’m real good at it. I’m real good at compartmentalizing pain, that’s why I’m in the spot where I’m at.”

“Nothing’s going to hold me back,” he promised

Circumstances, however, have delayed things over the years. The accident. Fights falling through. “It sucks,” Anderson admitted. Of note, fights with Paul Daley and Michael Page fell off. “And seeing them get matched up with each other right after, it’s like ‘what the hell happened? I thought we were going to fight?’ It’s like they’ve got someone protecting them or something like that. It’s pretty lame.”

“Bellator just let them forget about me,” he continued.. “I was there to fight, I think they knew they were in trouble. I think that’s definitely what happened with MVP.”

It’s worth noting that those are 170lb’ers. “Welterweight’s going to be cool for a little while,” said Anderson, who has historically fought at 155. “I’m not sure if I’m going back down or not. I think I might try to.”

Other factors, less tangible than size, give him an edge, he feels. “I feel very confident in my technique, then my will and my heart is second to none. I can turn it around on anybody. Nobody’s going to put me in a corner,” Anderson explained. “This is how I am, it’s just my personality. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’m not going to let nobody beat me up.”

Anderson is the type of guy who often becomes friends with opponents. With one notable exception. “The only guy I don’t really like still is Brent Primus. He didn’t deserve that win,” he said.

“I told him, ‘you suck,'” Anderson continued. “He knows I won. If this was school, I’d be taking his lunch money.” While he hasn’t had a chance for a rematch yet, “Bellator’s been talking about that kind of. That would be cool. I don’t know why that guy doesn’t retire, honestly. I don’t think he’s a real fighter. Me, it’s different. I was born a fighter.”

“I think that guy’s just like a muscle guy,” he finished. “He’s got like ego problems or something like that. ‘I’m a fighter, I’m tough.’ It’s like ‘no, you’re a p*ssy.'”

Primus will have to wait for some other day. It’s Bomba who will be opposite him in the cage at Bellator 229 on Friday. “I’m real amped up man. I”m a fighter, I’m that much more hungry. It’s been a long time coming. I feel like I’ve been training for this fight more than a year, since the accident.”

“Bomba’s going to have a real hard time. It’s going to be a bad night for him,” he said.

Anderson hopes the Brazilian will stand and strike with him Friday night, but “he’s going to quickly second guess that. I’m not worried about his ground game either.”

“I’m going to finish him for sure,” he predicted. “I think I might tap him too, in the first, or something like that. I’ll probably knock him out. He’s not going to be able to keep me down, or do anything down there.”

“I’m going to smash him on the feet. On the ground, my grappling’s great, I’m not worried about his grappling at all.”

Derek Anderson returns against Guilherme Bomba at Bellator 229 in Temecula, CA on Friday, October 4. The card airs live on Paramount Network.


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