Corey Anderson to Make Bellator Debut Against Melvin Mahoef on November 5

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

Former UFC light heavyweight contender Corey Anderson will be making his Bellator debut against former middleweight title challenger Melvin Manhoef on November 5.

After winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2014 as a part of Frankie Edgar’s team, Corey Anderson (13-5) went on to become a perennial top ten fighter in the UFC’s light- heavyweight division.  Over the next six years, Anderson fought several notable fighters such as current champion Jan Blachowicz, former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, future PFL champion Sean O’Connell, and former title challenger Glover Teixeira.   Most recently, Anderson had a four fight win-streak snapped by Blachowicz who stopped him by first round knockout in their rematch in February.  Following a medical procedure, Anderson sought a release from his contract in order to test the free market earlier this summer.  The UFC granted his release and Anderson signed with Bellator shortly afterward.

Now, Anderson has his Bellator debut set, against longtime veteran Melvin Manhoef. Bellator officials announced the news Wednesday.

Former kickboxer Mahoef has had a decorated career that has seen him compete in several of the biggest promotions of the past twenty years including Bellator, Strikeforce, ONE Championship (then ONE FC), DREAM, and M-1.  Manhoef more recently is known for his back-to-back fights with former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho, coming up short in bids to win the title.  “No Mercy” returned from a two year hiatus in 2019 and moved up to light-heavyweight where he posted victories over Kent Kauppinen and Yannick Bahati.

The fight carries high stakes as a victory for either man would make them one of the top contenders for new champion Vadim Nemkov.  While there is competition with former champions Ryan Bader and Phil Davis for the next shot at the belt, the Anderson vs Manhoef winner would stand out as Nemkov already has recent victories over Bader and Davis.  The fight is set to take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.