The ongoing Bellator light heavyweight grand prix has reignited the debate regarding the best light heavyweight in the sport, and there are more than a few in the MMA community who believe that the Vadim Nemkov-Corey Anderson winner can lay claim to that top spot.
Anderson was especially impressive in dispatching Ryan Bader in just 51 seconds in the Bellator 268 co-main event at the Footprint Center in Phoenix for his seventh win in eight professional outings across stints in the California-based promotion as well as the UFC. The man known as “Overtime” notably owns victories over both Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, who will square off with light heavyweight gold on the line at UFC 267 later this month.
However, Blachowicz avenged that defeat in Anderson’s final Octagon appearance with a first-round knockout at UFC Fight Night 167 in February 2020. The Polish star took exception to any notion that Anderson, currently ranked No. 2 in Sherdog’s divisional rankings, might be the top light heavyweight in the sport.
“Hold up... So a guy who bolted from the UFC after I've slept him and almost made him retire, got a couple of wins in the [second] league and claims he is the best?” Blachowicz wrote on Twitter.
“Maybe I've punched him [too] hard... No class in win or defeat, Corey. There's levels to this.”
That prompted a response from Anderson, who reminded Blachowicz of their first meeting at UFC 191, which “The Ultimate Fighter 19” cast member won via unanimous decision. It was a lopsided affair in which Anderson secured a pair of 30-25 scorecards from the cageside judges. “Let's not forget. What happened to you the [first] time I left you looking like elephant man. And you posted ‘I need to go home and rethink my career,’” Anderson wrote.
“Yea I got knocked out in our [second] fight (lucky punch?), but I made you my broad for 15 [minutes] straight. Nothing lucky about that.”
Anderson is expected to face Nemkov for the Bellator crown sometime early in 2022, while Blachowicz vs. Teixeira will go down on Oct. 30 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Let's not forget. What happened to you the 1st time I left you looking like elephant man. And you posted "I need to go home and rethink my career".— Corey 'Overtime' Anderson (@CoreyA_MMA) October 18, 2021
Yea I got knocked out in our 2nd fight (lucky punch?) but I made you my broad for 15 min straight nothing lucky about that. https://t.co/q5kSRUVt48