After growing frustrated with the promotion’s treatment of him during his UFC run, it’s easy to look at light heavyweight Corey Anderson as a new fighter. But really, coming off a TKO win over Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov at Bellator 257 in the opening round of the light heavyweight grand prix, Anderson has just gone back to being himself.
“That’s the statement I’m trying to make every fight. Like I said when I first got here, now I can go back to just being me,” Anderson (15-5) said following the bout, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “I don’t have to worry about being impressive with my striking, I don’t have to do anything fancy. Get a guy down, impose my will, get some ground n’ pound going which is what I’m known for, and get the victory.”
The victory moves him forward to the semifinals, and the match is already set. Anderson will fact off with former 205lb champ (and current heavyweight champion) Ryan Bader. A fighter he has something of a history with.
“I love the match-up. I love the match-up with anybody in this tournament. I love the match-up with any 205’er in the world, because I know how good I am,” exclaimed Anderson. “And I’m just going to show the rest of the world that.”
When it comes to his upcoming opponent, “me and Bader have history from training together. Like I said, one person knows. He knows. So we’re just going to find out in July when we match up.”
Anderson was referring to comments he made in the cage following his win Friday, in essence saying that, when two people train together, one always knows who the better man is. And while he’s not about to release footage from their training sessions, Anderson doubled down on the statement on Friday.
“It’s the fact that he knows. I went out and helped him out after my first UFC fight,” Anderson explained. “Then we stopped working together, because we was both in the UFC, so he didn’t want to work with me no more. Then he went to Bellator, and I came back, when I had like three, four years in the UFC, and I got even better. And then I didn’t hear from him again after that.”
“Every time I start coming to train with you, I don’t hear from you no more,” added Anderson. And it’s clear he feels there’s a reason.
Watch the full Bellator 257 post-fight press conference with Corey Anderson above.