Corey Anderson Granted Release from UFC, Signs with Bellator

Corey Anderson UFC
Corey Anderson Credit: Marcus Rebelo/Cageside Press

Light heavyweight Corey Anderson has signed with Bellator MMA, having been granted his release from the UFC after six years in the promotion.

Per ESPN, UFC light heavyweight contender Corey Anderson has signed with Bellator.  The move was completely unexpected as Anderson was not a free agent and instead requested his release from the UFC with several fights still on his contract.  No word yet on when Anderson will make his Bellator debut.

The move to Bellator is a surprise due to the fact that Anderson was recently on the best win streak of his UFC career.  A four fight run with victories over Glover Teixeira and Johnny Walker had him on the cusp of title contention before he ran into Jan Blachowicz in February, but Anderson remained a top five contender.  It is unknown exactly how many fights were left on his contract or why he requested a release at this particular time. However back in November, after his win over Walker, he demanded a title shot — or his release.

Anderson first joined the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter in 2014 where he won the season as the first pick of coach Frankie Edgar.  Over the past six years, he headlined two UFC events and fought the likes of the aforementioned Teixeira, Walker, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Ilir Latifi, and Ovince Saint Preux.  Now in Bellator, Anderson provides a breath of fresh air to the light heavyweight division.  Notably, he has previously worked with current champion Ryan Bader to help him prepare (twice) for Phil Davis.