Bellator MMA matchmakers decided against a soft landing for Corey Anderson.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran will make his organizational debut opposite Surinamese knockout artist Melvin Manhoef in the Bellator 251 headliner on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Anderson has rattled off four wins in his past five starts but finds himself on the rebound following a knockout loss to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in February. Manhoef, meanwhile, has secured back-to-back victories over Kent Kauppinen and Yannick Bahati since being leveled by a Rafael Carvalho head kick in April 2017.
As Manhoef and Anderson march toward their three-round battle in The Constitution State, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
44: Years of age for Manhoef, who was born in Paramaribo, Suriname, on May 11, 1976.
29: Manhoef victories by knockout or technical knockout, providing him with 91 percent of his career total (32). His long list of victims includes Evangelista Santos (twice), Kazushi Sakuraba, Mark Hunt, Kazuo Misaki, Denis Kang and Doug Marshall.
7: Submission defeats on the Manhoef resume, accounting for exactly half of his setbacks in MMA. Yoshihiro Akiyama (armbar), Dong Sik Yoon (armbar), Gegard Mousasi (triangle choke), Paulo Filho (armbar), Tatsuya Mizuno (kimura), Tim Kennedy (rear-naked choke) and Mamed Khalidov (guillotine choke) were the perpetrators.
1: Draw on the Manhoef ledger, and it occurred in just his second professional outing. He fought to a draw with Rodney Glunder at a Rings event in Holland on June 20, 1999. Anderson was 9 years old at the time.
11: Different countries in which Manhoef has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. He has gone 12-4 in Japan, 6-2-1 in the Netherlands, 2-5 in the United States, 6-0 in England, 1-1 in Singapore, 1-1 in Italy, 1-0 in Russia, 1-0 in the Czech Republic, 1-0 in South Korea, 1-0 in Brazil and 0-1 in Poland.
31: Years of age for Anderson, who was born in Rockton, Illinois, on Sept. 22, 1989.
2,630: Days since Anderson has competed outside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He put away Stephen Flanagan with first-round punches inside the Indiana-based MMA Xtreme organization on Aug. 24, 2013. It was Anderson’s final assignment before he competed on Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series—a season he ultimately won.
53: Takedowns landed by Anderson in the UFC, putting him first on the promotion’s all-time list for light heavyweights. Rashad Evans (50), Ryan Bader (46), Jon Jones (42) and Patrick Cummins (35) round out the Top 5 at 205 pounds. Anderson also left the UFC ranked fifth among light heavyweights in total strikes landed (1,103), sixth in significant strikes landed (721), ninth in wins (10) and 10th in appearances (15).
113: Combined victories between the five men—Blachowicz, Ovince St. Preux, Jimi Manuwa, Mauricio Rua and Gian Villante—who have beaten Anderson.
61: Seconds needed for Anderson to dismiss Matt Van Buren with punches at “The Ultimate Fighter 19” Finale in July 2014. Having occurred in his fourth outing as a pro, it remains the fastest finish of his 18-fight career.
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