Corey Anderson was one fired up dude at UFC 244, ending the “Prelims” undercard portion of the night by battering much-hyped prospect Johnny Walker from pillar to post, forcing a referee stoppage just two minutes into their fight (watch the finish here). Walker was a big favorite both with the bookies and with UFC brass ... he made multiple appearances in UFC “Embedded” videos leading up to the event in Madison Square Garden. Anderson? Not made quite as visible ... and that made him pretty angry.
During the official announcement, Anderson let out that frustration by mocking Walker’s typical post-fight dance routine, performing the most sarcastic worm we’ve ever witnessed. It was the one thing he regretted doing during a week full of very apparent animosity.
”I gotta apologize, like I said I wasn’t too professional, in my post screaming and all that,” Anderson said. “But you gotta think with all the attention I have, like my brother said, I’m hurting. I sit at home with my wife and my kid and we see the stuff come on the media, and we hear about the title challengers, title this and title that. And we read it and my name is nowhere to be found? And I’m the only one in the top ten in the division that’s beat top five guys multiple times?”
”I’ve fought 14 fights. Every fight but one has been a ranked performance. And I’m the only person that wasn’t in that talk? It hurts. So I had to go out and hurt him.”
The win is Anderson’s fourth in a row, but just his second knockout in his five-year, 14-fight career with UFC. But with the quality of the opponents in his current streak, he thinks he deserves a title shot. More than that, if UFC won’t give it to him he wants out of his contract.
”Release me,” Anderson said. “If you don’t want to give me what I want, let me go. I’m hot. I proved my worth. I’ll go somewhere where somebody’s going to respect me.”
”A lot of people feel like you need the UFC,” he continued. “I don’t want to speak out, when s**t happened with Jon Jones at UFC 232, there’s a reason I spoke out. I don’t need the UFC. I love being here, don’t get me wrong. I love my job, I love the opportunity to inspire and go around the world and do that. But I’ve never been a person to depend on somebody for what I need.”
“If I gotta go back to working nine to five I’ll do it. Make sure my family eat. But if I’m out here proving myself, doing what you want. You want knockouts, excitement? Tell me you’re not excited. I did that. If they’re still not giving me what I’m worth? Let me go. I’ll go somewhere else.”
UFC President Dana White may have been impressed with Anderson’s win, but we never got to find out before he was asked about his ultimatum. That put things on a bit of a negative tip.
“So he came in here very angry this week,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “All these conspiracy theories, we hate him, we this, that and everything else, all this crybaby bulls**t. We’re trying to get him beat. We can’t get you beat. You can either win or you can’t. We like Walker better, or whatever the stuff he was saying. No, some guys move faster than others. Don’t tell us what you deserve. Show us what you deserve. Tonight you showed us. Got it. Message received. Now we know.”
Unsurprisingly, he did not promise Anderson a title shot off the Walker win.
“I’m not saying you’re getting a title shot next or whatever,” White said. “Reyes won, too, impressively. We’ll figure out what’s next for you and when your contract is up, if you still don’t want to be here, you can do whatever you want to do. In the mean time, take the fights that we offer you. Pretty simple. We’re not trying to get you beat. We’re not trying to get anybody beat. If you think you deserve a shot at the title, how am I going to get you beat with the No. 11 or 14th-ranked guy in the world or whatever he was tonight, if you deserve a title shot?”