Corey Anderson earned the biggest win of his career on Sunday, outpointing former light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira in the UFC Fight Night 134 co-main event at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
Anderson landed seven takedowns against the 38-year-old Brazilian in a dominant performance after stepping in to replace the injured Ilir Latifi on short notice. After an 0-2 campaign in 2017, “Overtime” has bounced back with triumphs over Teixeira and Patrick Cummins this year. Anderson was a slight underdog against Teixeira, but he was not surprised by the way he was able to handle his more celebrated foe.
“I’m not surprised at all because that’s the exact plan: go out there and dominate,” Anderson said at the post-fight press conference. “Everybody talked about how great Glover was, but the plan was to go out there and show them how great I am.”
A victory over a ranked opponent has Anderson sitting pretty for the rest of 2018, especially considering that light heavyweight is a division in need of new blood. At 28 years old, Anderson seems to fit that description.
Anderson wasn’t the only new face at 205 pounds to stand out on Sunday. In the UFC Fight Night 134 headliner, Anthony Smith stopped Mauricio Rua inside of a round for his second straight win since moving up to light heavyweight. Anderson was watching the fight and recalled a brief social media exchange with the man known as “Lionheart.”
“It was a nice fight, congrats to Anthony. If he want the sauce, he can get the sauce,” Anderson said. “I’m trying to get the best fights that can get me to the title as soon as possible. Anthony actually called me out on Twitter for UFC Lincoln [on Aug. 25]. It didn’t get any retweets or any posts, so I didn’t pay it any attention.”
While Smith has certainly raised his profile since then, Anderson has more specific thoughts on where he stands in the division. “The Ultimate Fighter 19” winner is aiming high after dispatching the man ranked No. 3 in the UFC.com poll.
“I think it puts me in the No. 3 spot,” Anderson said. “I took out the No. 3 guy, why wouldn’t I take his position? I think it puts me set up to fight No. 2, Volkan [Oezdemir], [Alexander] Gustafsson or whatever. I heard Gustafsson just got pulled from [UFC] 227, so when they both heal up and if they don’t match those two, I’ll take Volkan and Smith can take Gustafsson. Or I’ll take a rematch against one of my losses, [Ovince St. Preux] or [Jimi Manuwa].
“I don’t duck and dodge. I don’t pick fights. I just want to be the best.”