Bellator 277: Corey Anderson Recalls Scary Moment Fighting Became a Business For Him

Corey Anderson, Bellator 277
Corey Anderson, Bellator 277/279 Press Conference, Los Angeles Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Los Angeles, CA — At Bellator 277 this Friday, Corey Anderson will finally get his chance to claim gold in a major MMA promotion.

It’s been a long time coming. Anderson couldn’t get the time of day from UFC matchmakers, when it came to a title fight against Jon Jones. So it was no surprise to see him jump ship to Bellator MMA a few years back — where he has steadily made his way to a title fight against Vadim Nemkov, in the finale of the promotion’s light heavyweight grand prix.

There’s more than just a belt on the line Friday, however. With the win in the grand prix comes a million dollars in prize money. While Anderson has said it isn’t all about the money, he’s also frequently noted that he’s a prize fighter at the end of the day.

“Like you said, the money isn’t really a big thing. I’ve already got the first purchase in mind, it was going to happen before, without, whatever, this money,” Anderson (16-5) told Cageside Press, when asked what his first purchase would be as a potential millionaire. “I’m going to just go buy some more property. More stuff to invest in. They’re not making any more land. I’m out here trying to make money, as a prize fighter. Like I said it’s a business. I’m always thinking about the next move. How can I make financial benefits for my family? So when my kids are older, they’ve got some money. Their kids go, they’re older, I can teach them that thing. So this money is going to go straight in the bank account so I can make some more investments.”

Anderson has certainly become more of a businessman over the years. And he remembers recisely how that mindset came about.

“I remember the exact moment like it was two seconds ago. I remember after my last UFC fight, I ended up having a fall at home. Something happened, I passed out, and smacked my face, and I woke up with the ambulance and everything,” the light heavyweight contender recalled. “I remember going to the hospital, [from] something that happened previously from training and fighting and I didn’t take the time to rest. And I looked at my wife and my son, she brought my son to visit me in the hospital, I remember looking at her saying ‘I can’t do this anymore.'”

Anderson’s wife asked if he meant he was done fighting. “‘No,'” he replied, “‘I’ve got to get serious with this. This ain’t a game. This is a business.'”

“I’m sitting there in the hospital, my son is looking at me right now, he don’t know what’s going on,” Anderson continued. “I always told myself I wanted to be out of this game before my kids could see me, and be like ‘oh daddy’s got a boo-boo, daddy’s hurt.’ But it’s too late. Now my son’s seen that. So it’s like after that, this ain’t a game no more. This is business. I’m not playing games, I’m here to go my job done, to the best I can, do it better than my opponent, get paid two checks, and go home.”

Bellator 277 takes place this Friday, April 15, 2022 at the SAP Center in San Jose. Corey Anderson meets light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov in the finale of the light heavyweight grand prix.