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UFC Rio Rancho’s Corey Anderson believes promotion ‘finally put respect on my name’

Corey Anderson believes he’s finally getting the respect he deserves ahead of his main event clash with Jan Blachowicz later tonight (Sat., Feb. 15, 2020) at UFC Fight Night 167 live on ESPN+ from inside Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

It has been a long time coming for the 30-year-old Anderson after making his UFC debut back in 2014, but “Overtime” is finally being recognized as one of the most dangerous names at 205 pounds. Whether it’s due to his ongoing four-fight win streak or his recent knockout win over hyped contender Johnny Walker, Anderson has taken the next step in his professional combat career.

Anderson, who holds an overall UFC record of 10-4, has been trying to get the promotion’s attention over the past few years in hopes of landing a shot at Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title. Anderson’s efforts didn’t result in much before knocking out Walker at UFC 244 this past November. Following that win, UFC took immediate notice and positioned Anderson for a big main event clash with Blachowicz this weekend in Jones’ own backyard.

“I definitely think I’ve gained a little bit more respect and a better relationship,” Anderson told MMA Fighting. “I don’t feel like they’re trying to dog me out. I think I should be ready to go for the title fight instead of fighting again but they put some respect on my name. They recognize me now.

“Like Dana [White] said, ‘Corey wanted to send a message and we got it, we know who Corey Anderson is now’.”

With a four-fight win streak under his belt Anderson should be able to lock down a championship fight with Jones if he beat Blachowicz in decisive fashion this weekend at UFC Rio Rancho. After all, Jones just defeated Dominick Reyes last weekend at UFC 247 and the timing would be perfect for the winner of this fight to serve as the next light heavyweight title challenger.

“That’s why they set it up,” Anderson said. “That’s why my manager believes it was set up right after that fight. That’s why it was so fast. I definitely think they’re doing it so we both fought recently. It’s not like one fight is in January and the other fight is in June and now we’ve got to wait until the end of the year to fight.

“We can get active right away. After this fight, we can get the contract [to face Jon Jones] signed.”

Having began his career with a variety of one-sided, drawn-out decision wins on the heels of relentless pressure and wrestling, Anderson didn’t do much to attract the interest of fight fans everywhere. But since he has started to lobby for his first UFC title shot and looked like an absolute maniac in his last outing opposite Walker, Anderson is beginning to reach his full potential.

All he has to do now is let his skills do the talking and destroy anybody in his path on the way to a UFC title shot.

“If I’ve got to beat everybody to get there, I’ll do it,” Anderson said. “So here I am. I’ll do it. I’ll beat everybody in there.

“I believe I’m better than everybody in this division. I beat him pretty bad the first time, my third fight in the UFC and sixth fight ever. Now I have 14 fights in the UFC and 17 fights ever. Now I’m more dangerous. I’m getting better, he’s getting older. I don’t think it’s going to be much different from the first time.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 167 fight card on Saturday, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

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