Corey Anderson is on the verge of capturing his first-ever world title in a major mixed martial arts (MMA) organization when he takes on Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov, in the co-main event of Bellator 277, which is set to go down this Friday night (April 15, 2022) in San Jose, California.
With a win, not only will “Overtime” win the 205-pound strap and Grand Prix belt, but a cool $1 million paycheck. What he will also get, unfortunately, is criticism from those hardest of critics who will likely try to belittle his accomplishment by saying he had to leave the proving grounds of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to taste gold for the first time.
And for that, Anderson has a response lined up.
“It was a business move. It all made sense. I talked to the people above me that did it before me, Eddie Alvarez, people that’s been around the block, different organizations. It’s like they said, I have a family, you have to make the money,” Anderson said during a recent press conference to promote the event (replay here).
“People can say what they want to say, but I beat the UFC champion, handily on two week’s notice. There wasn’t one scorecard that went his way. So, what are you saying?”
Anderson did defeat UFC’s current 205-pound champion, Glover Teixeira, in July 2018, winning all five rounds after stepping in on short notice for Ilir Latifi. Three years prior, he defeated Jan Blachowicz, who would eventually go on to win the strap in the absence of Jon Jones. And while Blachowicz did knockout Anderson in the rematch five years later, “Overtime” says you still can’t erase how he manhandled the Polish bomber the first time.
“Yeah, I got knocked out, people get knocked out, and you can get caught by Jan,” Anderson said. “But, you go back and watch that fight I did against him in my fifth or sixth fight, ever, I milked him like a cow.
“It was the easiest fight I ever had, to be honest,” he added. “I was taking him down left and right. Now, I did go out there with a cocky mindset in my last fight, playing games and thinking like I already beat his dude before, and it cost me. If I go out there serious and do what I do, I am untouchable.”
Following his first round knockout loss to Blachowicz, Anderson jumped ship to Bellator MMA, where he has won three straight fights, including his most-recent drubbing of ex Bellator MMA “champ-champ,” Ryan Bader.
Now, “Overtime” will look to add a couple of zeros to his bank account, though he says winning the belt is the bigger prize for him to not only achieve a personal goal, but to silence critics.
But, will it be enough?
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