Former Ultimate Fighter winner Corey Anderson, the No. 4 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC, has signed a new contract with Bellator.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani broke the news that Anderson had signed with Bellator. According to Helwani, Anderson asked for his release from the UFC despite having multiple fights left on his contract. The UFC granted Anderson his release and he signed with Bellator. Terms of Anderson’s deal with Bellator were not immediately available.
Anderson (13-5) had just three pro MMA fights to his name when he won The Ultimate Fighter 19 in 2014. Since then, Anderson has fought 15 times in the UFC, going 10-5 overall in the promotion. He has a number of notable victories over some of the top light heavyweights in the UFC including Glover Teixeira, Johnny Walker, Jan Blachowicz, and Ilir Latifi. His most memorable win was his upset KO win over Walker at UFC 244 last November.
However, after beating Walker, Anderson fought Blachowicz in a rematch earlier this year and was knocked out in devastating fashion. That was the fourth knockout loss of Anderson’s UFC career, following stoppage defeats to Ovince Saint Preux, Jimi Manuwa, and Gian Villante. His other loss was a controversial split decision against Shogun Rua. Just 30 years old, Anderson recently opened up about a health scare following the Blachowicz loss.
It will be interesting to see who Anderson gets paired against in his Bellator debut. He will immediately become a top-five fighter in Bellator’s light heavyweight division, which is one of the promotion’s better divisions. The current Bellator light heavyweight champion is Ryan Bader, who takes on Vadim Nemkov for the belt later this summer. There is also an upcoming light heavyweight bout between former UFC standouts Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis set for the fall. Look for Anderson to jump right into the mix of things immediately.
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