The ending to Derek Anderson’s fight with Killys Mota at Bellator 251 was nothing if not confusing.
Anderson (17–3, 1NC) landed what amounted to a soccer kick on Mota late in the second round. Mota appeared down at first, but replays showed that he’d been on the way up. One foot, and one hand, were down, but the other foot was up, so by definition, he was not a downed opponent.
With Mota unable to continue, Anderson picked up the KO victory. And after the fight, he made it clear that he had not planned to throw an illegal strike.
Here's that @DerekBarbaric kick 🦵 in real time!
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 6, 2020
“I’m good at timing that thing, and I went for it. It was a little close, but my instincts are real good. I’m not a cheap shot [artist], I’ve never been,” Anderson said following the fight, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press.
Anderson would have accepted the result either way, whatever the officials ruled. But, he noted, “I’m pretty good with [timing] that. I was really nervous, that it was a little early or something. That’s what they were saying, or that’s how he was trying to play it.”
That’s something Anderson reiterated later — Mota was playing up the result of the kick. While he would have accepted the outcome either way, noting that he’s not a crybaby, Anderson also stated that “I’ve thrown a lot of kicks like that, just good timing, as they were getting up. I’m good at that timing. I guess I had a little too much faith in it, it was close. But it worked out. He tried to play possum, he shouldn’t have done that, because it’s a KO. I’ll take it.”
Anderson added that “It’s a game” at times, with fighters trying to game the downed opponent rule. “When people play that game— Don’t play that game. Man, we’re fighting! I don’t play that game,” Anderson exclaimed.
“It was drama. Drama club. Full respect to Killys, he had respect for me,” Anderson added. He believes that Mota may have wanted out of the fight. “I was ready to go the full three rounds, kick his ass every time. Maybe that’s what he felt— the first round was strong for him, I was getting stronger and stronger.”
“He was hoping for the DQ, you know what I mean?”
Watch the full Bellator 251 post-fight press scrum with Derek Anderson above.