Many fighters have dreamed of hoisting gold in any promotion, as winning a title marks the peak of a career in athletics, especially MMA. Former UFC light heavyweight Corey Anderson had this goal within reach, but unfortunate circumstances temporarily derailed his dream.
Corey Anderson was close to securing the light heavyweight title in a co-headliner event at Bellator 277 against Vadim Nemkov before the accidental headbutt declared the fight a no-contest. He has, however, in his latest interview, reflected on the incident while naming himself a champion.
Corey Anderson Close to Win
The fight’s winner was poised not only to be the light heavyweight king and Grand Prix champion but also go home with a $1 million paycheck. Anderson dominated in the first two rounds and had the Champion in his control again in the third.
His ground game was vital, earning him a TKO call late in the third round. But, after a four-minute review by the officials and the judges, the actual reason for the stoppage was revealed, leading to the fight being tagged as a “no contest”.
Going into the third round, Anderson must have been filled with thoughts of his triumph and the million-dollar paycheck. But, the promotion’s decision to label it a no-contest has met him on the wrong end as he airs his opinion in an interview.
Despite Setback, It’s Time To Move On
Corey Anderson spoke with remorse and understanding in his first interview after the action: “I know I’m the champ, I don’t care what the casuals say, I don’t care what the media says. We saw the accidental head-butt, but you guys saw what happened. First round, yeah, it was a lot closer, but the second and third, you can’t tell me there was no way he was going to score that. I am the champ.”
“I mean, I’m over it now – I’m not over-over it – but a coach of mine told me in college, ‘You’ve got five minutes to sulk,’” he said at the post-fight press conference. “I had those five minutes, I jumped in the shower, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Anderson said.
The truth doesn’t always set one free, and that’s the case for Anderson. With just three seconds left, the raged American confessed to an accidental headbutt that saw the eyes of Nemkov cut. Still angered over the decision, he further expressed his annoyance over his lack of composure which led to the ugly incident.
“It’s very upsetting, especially because I broke him, You can’t say I wasn’t winning the fight and the clash happened. I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do. I was going to go out there and dominate. He can’t handle my wrestling and the ground and pound. I was pacing myself, and I knew in the fourth round, it was going to be over.”
However, Anderson admitted to handling the situation with grace and honesty: “But there’s a good sport in me; I saved him myself. I felt our heads hit, and the ref was like, ‘Keep going, keep going.’ And I said I head-butted him. That’s why they stopped it.”
“So if I wouldn’t have said nothing, the three seconds would be over and I would be the champ. But the good sport in me, it is what it is.” His wry recognition of the end of the fight should serve him well, especially in his mindset: he believes he earned the win, and he should get another chance to prove himself.
Despite the Bellator President Scott Coker’s reluctance, Corey Anderson confirmed the extent of Nemkov’s injury and his worries over his next chance to claim the title and the cash prize. Most likely, he is in the right to seek a rematch, especially because he was winning the first fight.
Do you think Corey Anderson will ever become a champion? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Credits to Bellator MMA