Corey Anderson is set for his Bellator debut. The former UFC light heavyweight standout will collide with Melvin Manhoef on November 5.
Manhoef is a decorated kickboxing specialist and experienced mixed martial artist, but has had his best success competing in the 185-pound middleweight division, so his welcoming Anderson to the Bellator light heavyweight division came as a surprise to some fans. Anderson himself, however, seems fired up about the challenge.
The former UFC star reacted to this booking on Instagram not long after the news surfaced, promising to “dominate” and opening the door to new sponsorship opportunities.
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New promotion, same goal. DOMINATE! . . . . Time to right my wrongs. 1st step to @bellatormma gold begins Nov 5th!! Main Event on @cbssports , hmu if your interested in getting your company advertised on national TV. . . . . #letsgo #bellator251 #nov5 #bellator #overtime #ready
“New promotion, same goal: DOMINATE!,” Anderson wrote. “Time to right my wrongs. 1st step to @bellatormma gold begins Nov 5th!! Main Event on @cbssports, [hit me up] if your interested in getting your company advertised on national TV.”
Corey Anderson last fought in February, when he was knocked out in a top contender bout with Poland’s Jan Blachowicz, who now holds the UFC light heavyweight title. With this outcome, Anderson moved into a 1-1 tie with the Pole, having defeated him by decision when they first met in 2015.
Prior to his February loss to Blachowicz, Anderson picked up four-straight victories over top-flight foes in Johnny Walker, Ilir Latifi, Glover Teixeira and Patrick Cummins. Other highlights of his resume include wins over former PFL champion Sean O’Connell, and wily veterans in Fabio Maldonado and Tom Lawlor. A wrestling specialist who has shown off vastly improved striking recently, Anderson is now 13-5 overall.
If the former UFC standout defeats Melvin Manhoef in his Bellator debut, he’ll take a big jump toward a fight with the promotion’s light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov. Other possibilities for him under the Bellator banner include fights with the likes of Ryan Bader, Lyoto Machida, Gegard Mousasi, Linton Vassell, and Phil Davis.
How do you think Corey Anderson will perform under the Bellator banner?