Corey Anderson thinks a move to Bellator only made sense for him. After a 15-fight stint in the UFC, Anderson fought out of his contract to move to Bellator in 2020.
Simply put, Anderson didn’t feel there were many differences between the promotions apart from the amount of money they offered him.
“It’s the same risk but a higher reward now,” said Anderson on Tuesday, two days before his Bellator debut against veteran MMA fighter Melvin Manhoef.
Through a video call with the media, Anderson described how he thinks a switch in promotion saw him realize his worth. He mentioned that seeing reports on what others were paid compared to him “was kind of like a slap in the face.”
“If you look at my bank account [it would] look like I’m just on the regional fight scene,” claimed Anderson.
Anderson’s UFC run came to an end amid being one of the higher-ranked names in the division. His final fight for the promotion was a loss to Jan Blachowicz, who went on to become the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in his following fight.
Anderson admitted the championship mindset was a big influence on his UFC career.
“The mindset was always to be the UFC champion … It’s hard for me to think when I signed this [Bellator] contract that I won’t be fighting for the UFC belt. But everything else made sense,” said Anderson.
From now on Anderson feels like his career is stripped of the politics of who he faces or the stipulations in front of it – his goal, something that he says harkens back to the early days of his career, is only focused on defeating opponents.
He feels that a simple approach to fighting was not available during his UFC run, as he claims other things would be prioritized as well.
“It wasn’t about beating a guy and moving forward. It was more about ‘are you selling tickets? Are you a fan favourite? How much money are you going to make us?” said Anderson, listing off things he was supposedly told while under the promotion.
While Thursday will undoubtedly be a new chapter for Anderson in his career, Anderson claims it will be another night at the office – albeit a more lucrative one than before.
That new chapter will officially begin on Thursday, as Anderson’s headlining fight will take place without a crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.