Eryk Anders has all the confidence in the world when he rematches Darren Stewart at UFC 263.
Anders and Stewart first met in a middleweight bout in March. Early on in the fight, Anders dropped Stewart and was landing heavy shots. However, as he was looking to finish the Englishman he threw an illegal knee and the fight was ruled a No Contest.
After the fight, Anders didn’t know what would be next but the UFC offered the rematch. However, when they run it back, they will do it at light heavyweight, which Anders says was Stewart’s choice.
“I didn’t know, it didn’t matter to me. It was pretty clear who was winning that fight. If that knee happens in the first minute of the fight, Darren takes as much time as he needs to recover then we continue fighting,” Anders said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Kind of because of the onslaught that was happening he wasn’t going to be coherent to answer the questions. I don’t lobby for fights, it’s whoever they give me, they said they wanted to run it back. It was Darren’s choice to do it at 205… Hell nah, I prefer middleweight, especially after that last cut. I think I could’ve done it again. After we signed the contract for middleweight he came back and said he wanted it at 205.”
Anders believes Stewart asked for the fight to be at light heavyweight to try and be more durable due to how the first fight played out. However, “Ya Boi” says it will also be a problem as Stewart’s speed and cardio may be impacted.
“Man, to be honest, when guys go up in weight, especially fighting another middleweight at 205 he will be more durable. Maybe the weight cut plays a role. I just know June 12 we will show up at 205 and let them ride like we did the first time,” Anders said. “Maybe he thinks he will have a strength advantage but outside of all that I think he will be more durable. I don’t think I’ll drop him as easy but I don’t know if his cardio will be better or worse. It’s a double-edged sword, there are pros are cons but he thinks this is his best possible chance to win.”
Ultimately, Eryk Anders is confident he will have success as he believes he hits harder at light heavyweight and will eventually put Stewart away.
“I hit way harder at 205, there is a lot more mass behind the punches. My speed doesn’t drop off that much and my cardio doesn’t falter,” Anders said. “I do look to set a high pace and see if he’ll melt.”
If Anders does get his hand raised at UFC 263, he wants to fight again in the fall but doesn’t care who is next. Instead, he’s just focused on improving now that he’s at Fight Ready and getting a winning streak started.
“I don’t know, if they ask me to fight at 205, I’ll do that no problem. It just starts the streak, I haven’t put too many wins in a row,” Anders concluded. “A consistent winning streak is what I need. But, a win over Darren I don’t know what it does for me but it gets me both my paycheques. You put three or four together you are fighting to get into that top-15, top-10.”
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