Corey Anderson says he signed big-money contract with Bellator: “I make more than I would have in the UFC”

Corey Anderson, UFC Rio Rancho

Newly-signed Bellator light heavyweight Corey Anderson says he will make more money in Bellator than what he would have made in the UFC.

A former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, the news that Anderson had been released by the UFC and signed with Bellator a few weeks ago took many by surprise. Despite a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz in his last fight, Anderson was still the No. 4 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. In November 2019, he picked up a POTN bonus for knocking out Johnny Walker. His release from the UFC was a very big surprise.

However, it wasn’t a situation where the UFC cut Anderson. In fact, Anderson was the one who was pushing for it, though ultimately it was a mutual decision. It was a case where Anderson felt like he deserved a better contract from the UFC, but the UFC wasn’t willing to negotiate. Speaking to MMAFighting.com’s Damon Martin, Anderson says his manager Ali Abdelaziz negotiated his release from the UFC after they declined to give him a raise.

“They weren’t having it. Nope. Somewhere along the line, something happened with them and my manager (Ali Abdelaziz) and he hit me up and was like, ‘If you could get released and get more money, would you do it?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, if we can get more money, let’s do it,’” Anderson said.

Anderson then recalls a training session with Daniel Cormier where Anderson got the news from Abdelaziz that he had been released. He says that Abdelaziz went to work talking with Bellator president Scott Coker and matchmaker Rich Chou, and minutes after Anderson had been released from the UFC, Bellator offered him a big-money, free-agent contract.

“I just finished sparring with [Daniel Cormier], he called me up, D.C.’s driveway is probably 40 yards. I’m walking from the garage to the top of the hill. I tell my manager, ‘Let’s do it’ as I walk out of the garage. By the time I get to the top of the hill, my manager already called me saying, ‘The UFC was willing to release you, do you want to do it?’ It happened that fast,” Anderson said.

“They were ready to release me so quick, I was like let’s do it, let’s see what other options are out there. He made some calls. He called me back a few minutes later with Bellator, a big contract and all I’m going to say is I get a show and a win bonus. My show money in Bellator, I make more than I would have in the UFC winning with the Reebok sponsors and anything else I would have got.”

Anderson has not been booked for his debut in Bellator yet. It’s possible he could fight the winner of Bellator 244’s main event between Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Vadim Nemkov, but Bellator could also give him a tune-up fight before the gets the chance to fight for the title.

Who do you want Corey Anderson to fight in his Bellator debut?