Eryk Anders did not expect to fight this soon.
The 32-year-old is coming off of a brutal decision loss to Khalil Rountree at UFC 236 where he was knocked down several times. But, when the call came to step in on short notice to take on Vinicius Moreira at UFC Minneapolis, it was an easy decision for the former Alabama football star.
“Man, I am down to fight anybody, anywhere. It is just as easy to step in on short notice at 205 as I don’t have to cut much weight,” Anders told BJPENN.com. “Usually, they make you sit down for a little bit after a loss. I didn’t think I would be fighting so soon. I was going to lobby for the San Antonio card. Before they even announced San Antonio they offered me this fight so I take what they give me.”
Given it was short notice, Eryk Anders didn’t have the opportunity to train at Factory X with Marc Montoya and all their fighters. Rather, he did the training camp in Alabama with UFC heavyweight Walt Harris. “Ya Boi” believes he will be much stronger in this fight after drilling with a heavyweight for weeks.
“It’s good to work with a guy that is bigger than you, stronger than you,” he explained. “It is really good to sharpen the skills. Just feeling the weight, and wrestle around with him. He has hands and footwork, too, so it has been awesome.”
But, taking on Vinicius Moreira will be no easy task. The Brazilian has very good jiu-jitsu, and Anders knows that the only way he loses this fight is if he gets caught by a submission. Yet, that is not how he sees it playing out.
“He will be desperate for the takedown, but he doesn’t try to until at least halfway through the first round,” he said. “If I find my distance early it will be a short night for him. I definitely see myself getting him out there by knockout or TKO. I am conformable anywhere even if I have to work off my back.”
Eryk Anders, who is on a three-fight losing streak, understands just how important this fight is to win. He knows he can’t lose four in a row.
“You know every fight is important. It is good for me to get back into the win column,” Anders said. “I hate losing more than I like winning so I think obviously it would be great to collect a full cheque too.”
In the end, Eryk Anders is confident he leaves Minneapolis with a win and believes this is the start of a winning streak. Who do you think will win the fight between Anders and Moreira at UFC Minneapolis?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/25/2019.