With the recent signings of Yoel Romero and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, (who are also in the tournament), a lot was made of how Corey Anderson would react to fighters with reputations like those of Romero and Johnson coming to Bellator MMA not long after his promotional debut at Bellator 251. Then, he wanted a title shot, but as time passed, newer, more notable fighters were signed, and a tournament seemed to make the most sense, and Anderson loves the suspense of it all.
“I’m still excited because now, it’s like there’s no guessing game of what’s next,” Anderson told the media. “I was talking to one of my teammates taking me back to my wrestling days, to like a wrestling tournament to brackets. You go there, you see the bracket, you know exactly what you got to do to get to the championship.”
Corey Anderson called for a title shot after his win over Melvin Manhoef, but then even he knew just asking for it under the standard matchmaking format does not guarantee it will happen.
Call Outs Not Necessary
“There’s no guessing around, ‘Who’s gonna be the champ? Who’s gonna get there?’” Anderson asked. “If you go out there, and you do your job and you do your job for three fights; you are the champ. There’s no wonder, no debating who gets the title fight.”
As far as his first opponent in the Grand Prix, Corey Anderson is not overlooking Yagshimuradov. Yagshimuradov may be a rookie to Bellator but technically, so are Romero and Johnson according to Anderson.
“I can’t look past this guy [Yagshimuradov] because we didn’t know him. This guy actually has a pretty good style. He’s got a pretty good record and he’s well known where he’s from,” said Anderson. “Just because we didn’t know him, doesn’t mean anything. I’m not looking past anybody.”
For those unaware, Yagshimuradov is the former light-heavyweight champion Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) a Russian MMA promotion. He vacated the title to enter Bellator’s Grand Prix.
Anderson and Yagshimuradov face off on April 9 at Bellator 256.