A close middleweight bout opened the UFC Tampa main-card, with Eryk Anders coming out on top against a very game Gerald Meerschaert.
Eryk Anders originally burst into the UFC as a very hyped-up prospect. The former Alabama football star built up a 10-0 record prior to facing off against Lyoto Machida in a main event in Brazil. He would lose that bout, the first one of a downfall that included him only winning one of his next five fights. However, he rebounded earlier this year with a first-round knockout victory over Vinicius Moreira.
Gerald Meerschaert, since coming to the UFC in 2016, has faced some of the best at his weight class. Meerschaert has a 5-3 record within the promotion, with his three losses coming to Thiago Santos, Jack Hermansson, and Kevin Holland. He’s looking to build momentum after his win over Trevin Giles in August.
Anders opened up the contest with a quick 1-2, already showcasing the contrasting styles of Anders and Meerschaert. Meerschaert looked very labored and slow as the fight was going on, and Anders kept landing the left hand. Anders briefly dropped Meerschaert after a flurry following a left hand. Anders tagged him again with a left, prompting Meerschaert to shoot for a failed takedown. Meerschaert would recover as the round went on, landing a clean left of his own. The round ended with an Anders flurry after a clean right hand landed with seconds to go.
Anders opened the round by literally throwing Meerschaert to the ground. Meerschaert got back to his feet and ate a clean left hand for it. The difference on the feet was very noticeable, however, Meerchaert was landing his fair share of shots whenever he chose to throw them, which he did sparingly. Meerschaert did improve as the round went on, landing more than a few combinations in the final two minutes as Anders began to slow down. Anders ended the round slumped against the fence, the second round a far cry from his dominant first round.
Anders came out with a surprising pop in his punches after looking exhausted at the end of round two. Meerschaert kept landing the 1-2, to which Anders responded with a left hand that briefly rocked Meerschaert. Meerschaert responded with a kick to the body that caused Anders to retreat. After a good first half of the round for Anders, it was Meerschaert that was coming on strong in the final minutes. Meerschart rocked Anders in the final 45 seconds of the fight, causing him to spin out of control. However, the finish would never come for either. An extremely close fight.
Eryk Anders def. Gerald Meerschaert by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)