Rivalries: Corey Anderson

By Brian Knapp Aug 4, 2020
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Though his experience in the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been something of a rollercoaster ride, Corey Anderson has established himself as one of the sport’s Top 15 light heavyweights.

The Rockford, Illinois, native joined the UFC roster in 2014 after winning Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a promising but unproven prospect. Anderson won six of his first eight bouts inside the Octagon and started filling out his game before back-to-back knockout losses to Ovince St. Preux and Jimi Manuwa temporarily derailed him. “Overtime” has since reasserted himself at 205 pounds, and at the age of 30, time remains on his side.

As Anderson awaits his next assignment from UFC matchmakers, a look at some of the rivalries that have stoked his flame:

Villante (right) handed Anderson his first professional loss. (Photo: Getty Images)



Gian Villante


The former Ring of Combat champion put away the previously unbeaten Anderson with an overhand right and follow-up punches in the third round of their UFC on Fox 15 undercard clash on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. Villante drew the curtain 4:18 into Round 3. Anderson had no answer for the outside leg kicks the Strikeforce veteran brought to bear. The sustained punishment left him visibly compromised, even though his resilience kept him in the fight. Anderson capitalized on decreased output from his counterpart in the second and third rounds, as he punched well in combination and began to change the complexion of the bout. However, in the final minute of the match, Villante let fly with an overhand right to the temple that had the undefeated Ricardo Almeida protégé out on his feet. Two more rights followed on the defenseless but still-standing Anderson before referee Liam Kerrigan saw fit to intervene.

Blachowicz (left) offered a resounding retort in the rematch. (Photo: Getty Images)



Jan Blachowicz


Takedowns and punishing ground-and-pound carried Anderson to a lopsided unanimous decision over the former KSW champion in a light heavyweight showcase at UFC 191 on Sept. 5, 2015 in Las Vegas. All three cageside judges scored it for “The Ultimate Fighter 19” winner: 30-25, 30-25 and 29-26. Blachowicz connected with a few punches and executed a takedown of his own early in Round 1, but the Pole’s situation deteriorated from there. Anderson closed the distance, took it to the mat and went to work. Blachowicz slowly broke. Anderson fed him a steady diet of elbows, forearm strikes and short punches from full guard and half guard.

Nearly five years later, Blachowicz offered a resounding retort, as he knocked out “Overtime” in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 167 headliner. A sweeping right hook sent Anderson to the canvas, where he was met with a standing-to-ground hammerfist before the stoppage was called 3:08 into Round 1 of the rematch.

Glover Teixeira


In need of a signature victory, Anderson rolled the dice against the light heavyweight division’s old guard. He made the most of his opportunity in the UFC Fight Night 134 co-main event on July 22, 2018 in Hamburg, Germany, where he replaced Ilir Latifi on short notice and took a unanimous decision from Teixeira at the Barclaycard Arena. The Kennel Fight Club product rocked Teixeira with a right hand in the second round and troubled him with repeated takedowns, ground-and-pound and positional advances. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Anderson, who doubled the respected Brazilian in significant strikes and completed seven of his 19 takedown attempts.



Johnny Walker


An inordinate amount of hype accompanied Walker when he confronted Anderson in the featured UFC 244 prelim on Nov. 2, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Brazilian was exposed by a man who equaled his athleticism and surpassed his technique, as Anderson sealed the deal with punches 2:07 into the first round. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 winner remained composed in response to Walker’s strange movements, closed the distance with a takedown attempt and gave it a go in the clinch. Anderson separated, wobbled his counterpart with an overhand right, floored him with a left hook and flurried with punches. When Walker returned to an upright position, the damage to his left eye became visible. Anderson connected with an uppercut at close range, reset and backed the Jungle Fight alum into the fence before cutting loose with a concussive straight right that led to the finish. Advertisement

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