Phoenix, AZ — Corey Anderson landed a thunderous knockdown early in his fight with Ryan Bader at Bellator 268. After securing the TKO finish, he then had to endure a thunderous chorus of boos and jeers, given Bader’s status as the hometown favorite.
“Just another day at the office. I’m used to being the not fan favorite, so I enjoy coming here and shushing the crowd,” Anderson (16-5) told media outlets including Cageside Press. “That’s my thing now: knock ’em out, finish them. I said it all week, I’m going to get the finish, just stand up and watch the crowd have a long face.”
“It was really long,” he deadpanned.
With the win, Anderson now has three wins inside the Bellator cage. All three have been finishes, helping erase the moniker of “boring fighter” Anderson had been saddled with in the UFC. Even more importantly, the win over Bader in the light heavyweight grand prix semifinal has set him up for a title fight with 205lb champ Vadim Nemkov.
Nemkov also picked up a win Saturday, submitting Julius Anglickas in the fourth round of Bellator 268’s main event. Anderson doesn’t seem him having the same success with himself.
“He was like a hot pocket. You put it in the microwave, it come out hot at first. Hot hot hot. Then after it cools down, you just eat it up,” said Anderson when asked about the match-up. “I feel the same way.”
Though his grand prix semifinal fight with Bader lasted only 50 seconds, Anderson looked strong in the wrestling department as well as on the feet. He was brimming with confidence in that area following the fight, especially given Bader’s credentials as an NCAA Division I All-American.
“I know I can out-wrestle anybody. I’ve said it many times, I am the best 205lb wrestler out there,” stated Anderson. “I had my hiccups in the past. Yes. I was young, I wasn’t as confident. But now, I have that confidence. I know nobody can out-wrestle me. I don’t care who you put up against me.” Anderson spent his most recent fight camp training with Olympic wrestler J’den Cox, he added.
If you’re curious as to what has brought about the change in Corey Anderson’s fight game, the secret to his recent success, it’s this: “I’m happy now. That’s the big thing.”
“They always say, a happy fighter’s a dangerous fighter. I’m happy. Not just with everything Bellator’s done, but just my life as a whole has changed,” explained Anderson. “I’m a father now. I’ve got two beautiful kids, I love my kids. I’ve got the hunting show. I don’t work at all. I wake up, and live the dream day by day. I wake up and go to the gym. I get out the gym, and go to the woods. I come home and hang out with my kids, hang out with my wife. Go shoot my bow. Whatever. Everything I do in life, I’m happy. I’m not fighting with the promotion anymore.”
Watch the full Bellator 268 post-fight press conference with Corey Anderson above. More coverage can be found below.