Corey Anderson
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Signs with Bellator
Light HeavyweightBellator
August 7, 2020
Anderson has been granted his release from the UFC and has signed with Bellator, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Anderson's lengthy run in the UFC dating back to 2014 came to a sour end via Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 167 in February, when he was knocked out in the first round. He wasn't a free agent following the fight, but the UFC was willing to release him from the promotion, so Anderson took the opportunity to try his hand in the Bellator arena.
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Finished abruptly in Rio Rancho
Light HeavyweightBellator
February 15, 2020
Anderson lost to Jan Blachowicz via KO (punch) at 3:08 of Round 1 at UFC Rio Rancho on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Anderson is typically known for his tremendous cardio, which would have been a massive advantage at altitude, but Blachowicz never let it get that far. The two looked relatively even in the striking exchanges early, but Blachowicz set a pristine trap for Anderson that ended with a brutal right hand. Anderson went straight down to the canvas and no follow-up shots were needed, though Blachowicz still got one in for good measure. Despite the quick finish, Anderson remains a staple in the light heavyweight division and will continue to see ranked opponents.
Enters as favorite in Blachowicz rematch
Light HeavyweightBellator
February 11, 2020
Anderson will be approximately a (-200) betting favorite when he takes on Jan Blachowicz in the main event of UFC Rio Rancho on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
This is a rematch of a UFC 191 matchup in which Anderson won in dominant fashion, as he took the striking battle 84 to 20 and recorded four takedowns to Blachowicz's one. Anderson will enter this bout on a four-fight winning streak, but Blachowicz has plenty of momentum himself, winning six of his past seven bouts. Anderson will enter with small height and reach advantages, in addition to an edge in striking volume and a major upper hand in offensive wrestling. While he blitzed Johnny Walker to pick up a knockout in his last fight, it wouldn't be surprising to see Anderson turn back to a wrestling-based approach here, especially given Blachowicz's 65 percent takedown defense.
No. 1 contender fight in works
Light HeavyweightBellator
December 3, 2019
Anderson is expected to square off against Jan Blachowicz at the UFC's Feb. 15 event in Rio Rancho for No. 1 contender status in the light heavyweight division, Nolan King of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Anderson defeated Blachowicz at UFC 191 in Sept. 2015, but a rematch is in store with each fighter having evolved significantly since then. Anderson is coming off a victory over the high-flying Johnny Walker at UFC 244, which extended his win streak to four. He will look to carry that momentum in to his rematch with Blachowic assuming the contract ultimately gets signed.
Stuns Johnny Walker at UFC 244
Light HeavyweightBellator
November 2, 2019
Anderson defeated Johnny Walker via TKO (punches) at 2:07 of Round 1 at UFC 244 on Saturday in New York City.
ANALYSIS
Wow. Known as a wrestler with terrific cardio and limited power in his hands, Anderson blasted Walker on the feet. He started quickly and only got stronger as the brief fight progressed. Walker never truly recovered following Anderson's initial flurry and Corey kept the pressure on. The knockout was just Anderson's third with the UFC and his first in nearly three years. It also earned him an extra $50,000 after Anderson was given Performance of the Night honors. As impressive as this finish was, it feels like a fluke. Anderson should go right back to his wrestling game his next time out, and it will likely be a mistake if he doesn't. Anderson is pushing hard for a shot at Jon Jones's UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but he would figure to be behind Dominick Reyes in the pecking order. Should Anderson get his chance, he will be a monumental underdog.
Slated for Johnny Walker at MSG
Light HeavyweightBellator
August 5, 2019
Anderson is in line to face Johnny Walker (shoulder) in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Anderson has been lobbying for a fight with current champion Jon Jones, but even while on a three-fight winning streak, those attempts have been unsuccessful so far. With Bones having essentially cleaned out the division at 205 pounds, this was the next best option for Anderson. Walker is a perfect 3-0 during his time with the UFC, collecting first-round finishes in all three of his appearances. He injured his shoulder in a post-fight celebration in March, but has since been medically cleared, according to Okamoto. Walker will have height and reach advantages over Anderson, though known for his cardio, the two throw comparable volume. The x-factor here will be wrestling, as Walker has yet to be tested by a wrestler in his time with the UFC, while Anderson averages nearly five takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time. That being said, Walker owns a BJJ brown belt, so Anderson will have to be cautious if he employs this strategy.