Earlier this month, UFC fans were taken by surprise to learn that a perennial top-10 light heavyweight was suddenly released despite having fights remaining on his contract. Corey Anderson had been a member of the UFC roster since winning Season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter back in 2014.
He’s had his share of ups and downs after earning his contract with the promotion, but he has worked hard to remain a fixture in the rankings. Nonetheless, after six years of investing in Anderson’s career, the UFC agreed to part ways with the light heavyweight contender.
At the UFC on ESPN 15 post-fight press conference, a reporter asked White the question many were thinking: why?
“First of all, it’s the right move for him,” White responded. “This isn’t something that we’ve never done before. And I think that he feels, and we feel, that he can be more competitive there.”
What’s The Real Reason Behind Corey Anderson’s UFC Release?
Corey Anderson was consistent about what his goals were n the UFC: to become world champion. It wasn’t long ago since Anderson was lobbying for a world title shot against Jon Jones, which instead went to Dominick Reyes. So it sounds unlike Anderson to suddenly throw in the towel while in the prime of his career and still high in the rankings in favor of easier competition as White suggested.
In a recent interview, Corey Anderson stated the UFC declined his request for more money. At this point, Anderson delegated his manager to ask for a release to field other offers. Anderson claims it took the UFC but 20 seconds to oblige.
Corey Anderson’s most recent bout was a loss against Jan Blachowicz in February. A UFC fighter being released from his contract following a main event may very well be a first, but perhaps Corey Anderson will enjoy his new life over in Bellator like fellow UFC LHW alum Ryan Bader.
Do you believe Corey Anderson went to Bellator because he feels he can “be more competitive there” as Dana White claims?