UFC 289: Eryk Anders Sheds Light Into Decision to Retire After Five More Fights


Vancouver, Canada — Former LFA middleweight champ Eryk Anders no doubt surprised many recently when he announced he would retire after five more fights.

Anders, 36, is not mired in a slump. He hasn’t been struggling, and a 2-2 record in his last four fights includes a close split decision loss to Jun Yong Park that easily could have gone the other way.

Why hang them up then? Anders told Cageside Press and other media outlets on Wednesday that it comes down to age, family, and a good round number: 20.

“Because five puts me at 20 UFC fights, and I think that’s a really good— not a lot of people get that many fights in the UFC,” Anders (15-7, 1NC) explained. “My kids are getting older, so it’s time for me to kind of, not really transition to a father role because I’m very active in their lives, but going away for two months at a time, being gone, fighting, and then needing surgery and then even when I get home, I’m sitting in a cast on the couch or whatever — it’s just time for me to put more into them.”

“I’m already 36. I kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Anders added.

The self-imposed deadline to the end of his fighting career doesn’t change his approach to fighting any, Anders told us. There’s no “do or die” mentality here.

“Not really. The belt used to mean a lot to me, being in the top 15 used to matter a lot. But now I just want to put on entertaining fights, and entertain the crowd, hear the cheers and things like that.”

Later, Anders would explain that thanks to his business interests, fighting isn’t something he has to do.

“I’m good. I can live comfortably right now if I want to,” he explained. “But I really love fighting, it’s still a passion that burns inside me. I kind of want to wear it out and ride off into the sunset.”

Anders is no stranger to Canada, having played for the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders during his football days. That’s a distant memory at this point, but “Ya Boi” was liking Vancouver, which plays host to his UFC 289 fight with Marc-Andre Barriault.

“I really like Canada, especially this part of Canada is very beautiful. Never been to Vancouver, first time, I’m just kind of taken aback by the water and the mountains and all the stuff that is going on around here,” Anders said of the city.

Watch the full UFC 289 media day appearance by Eryk Anders above.


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