One of the big headlines in the MMA world this morning was that Antonio Carlos Junior is out of his UFC 231 matchup against Elias Theodorou. The first replacement matchup that comes to mind with Carlos Junior on the bench is Eryk Anders vs. Theodorou, given that Anders called out Theodorou after his UFC Fight Night 135 knockout win over Tim Williams.
Why Anders wants to fight Theodorou so badly is for one reason and one reason only.
“He is just in the top-15,” Anders told BJPENN.COM. “That will definitely let my career progress forward and that is why we are in here and why we started this game is to make it to the top. We are going to get there.”
With Eryk Anders having already called out Theodorou, the former Alabama linebacker is ready to take the fight if it’s offered.
“I turned my phone off silent to make sure I didn’t miss the call. They already know [I’m ready], it is definitely no secret,” Anders added. “As far as actually talking to Mick Maynard, I’ll let my manager Jason House handle that, there is definitely no secret that I’ll be ready and willing to step in and take that fight.”
If the UFC matchmakers end up booking an Eryk Anders vs. Elias Theodorou fight for UFC 231, Anders has a good idea as to how the fight will play out.
“I definitely see myself winning the fight, possibly by knockout,” he said. “It depends on the gameplay he comes in there with, is he going to do the wrestling thing that he did against Brad Tavares? Is he going to try and move around and not do too much like he did against Cezar Ferreira? We will see, I imagine he will play it pretty safe so maybe edge out a decision. Once again, it is no secret when I am in there what I am trying to do to my opponent.”
While Anders believes that is how the fight will go, some fans might argue that Theodorou’s wrestling could cause him problems. However, Anders knows he can wrestle as well as — if not better than — most of his peers.
“I don’t think it will impact me at all. Anyone who says I don’t have any wrestling hasn’t watched any film,” Anders explained. “Before I got into the UFC, and in my few fights in the UFC, I had takedowns, pretty much every fight, ground and pound. Pretty much every fight ended from the top, you know people who say I can’t wrestle or never wrestle aren’t watching film.”
Although the 31-year-old has made plans to travel in September, he sees no reason why he wouldn’t be able to make it to a December fight in Toronto. Anders wants to fight before the end of the year, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
If Eryk Anders is called upon to step in against Theodorou, he’ll be fighting in his opponent’s hometown. While Anders won’t have many fans in the arena on fight night, he doesn’t seem to mind.
“I don’t care, man, the Canadian crowd can’t be any harder or tougher than a Brazilian crowd,” he said, referencing his fight with Lyoto Machida in Brazil earlier this year. “Been there, done that. Just looking forward to putting another notch in the win column for my record.”
Anders seems adamant that he wants the fight, but it will come down to the UFC matchmakers to decide if they will offer him the fight. Theodorou and Anders have spoken about it on Twitter so there seems no reason to believe that either would decline the fight, especially Anders.
“I’ll be ready,” he said.
Does a fight between Eryk Anders and Elias Theodorou interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/14/2018.