|Venue: Footprint Middle, Phoenix, Arizona Date: Saturday, 16 October (into Sunday, 17 October)|
|Protection: Watch reside protection on BBC iPlayer from 23:55 BST, Saturday|
Corey Anderson is having fun with a brand new chapter in his life after his shock exit from UFC.
Anderson will face Ryan Bader at Bellator 268 on Saturday within the gentle heavyweight world grand prix semi-final after two fights and two dominant wins to start out his Bellator profession.
In August 2020, regardless of having headlined a UFC Battle Night time six months earlier, Anderson, 32, left MMA’s largest organisation with two fights left on his contract.
‘The upper ups within the UFC advised me I simply do not transfer the needle and I am not thrilling,” stated Anderson, who’s nicknamed ‘Extra time’.
“I adore it at Bellator. It is very comforting and there is not any drama. There is no politics and that is the largest factor. I am going on the market to do my job and I wish to be rewarded for that and that is it. At Bellator, I get that.
“After I first met [Bellator’s president] Scott Coker he stated, ‘When you do what you’re presupposed to do and also you win, then you’ll transfer ahead’. Plain and easy.”
Anderson believes the character of his life-style is the rationale why the UFC and a few followers didn’t rally behind him.
“I do not put up nonsense on Instagram,” he stated.
“I am not out right here dwelling a faux life. I am a easy nation boy from Rockford, Illinois. I grew up with 12 different folks in my city. I nonetheless reside the identical manner.
“I drive used autos and I put on used garments. I do not spend cash as a result of I am not like that – I am not flashy and folks do not like that.
“Once you’ve bought cash they wish to see this limelight, they wish to see you act like a celeb.
“I hate when folks say, ‘oh you’re a superstar and you’re well-known.’ I shut them down and say cease, do not say that. I am no totally different to you and that is the rationale why I’ve by no means had a bunch of followers behind me. I proceed simply to be a mean Joe.”
Waiting for Bellator 268, Anderson doesn’t imagine fellow American Bader, 38, can beat him and says he has had his eye on going through the heavyweight champion since becoming a member of Bellator.
“He is robust, he is considerably nicely rounded and he is bought respectable fingers however I really feel like there are loads of openings in his sport,” Anderson stated.
“After I joined Bellator he was the sunshine heavyweight champion. So straight away, the champion is all the time on my radar. I am right here to be the perfect and never simply a part of the organisation. I wish to be the champ.”
A win over Bader will see Anderson qualify for the ultimate of the sunshine heavyweight match. Reigning champion Vadim Nemkov, from Russia, defends his title in opposition to American Julius Anglickas within the different semi-final, on the prime of the Bellator 268 card.
Ought to he win the grand prix, Anderson thinks he might transfer as much as the heavyweight division, the place Bader reigns as champion.
“Hell yeah, I will go as much as heavyweight. If I beat Ryan, then why not? Even when he did not have the belt, I might nonetheless go up there. I began my profession at heavyweight and I do know I can cling with them guys.”