Ex-UFC fighter Corey Anderson gets off to a flying start in Bellator with a big debut win

UFC 244 Walker v Anderson
UFC 244 Walker v Anderson
Dhruv Sharma

Corey Anderson had a successful Bellator debut knocking out MMA veteran Melvin Manhoef in the second round in the main event of Bellator 251.

Manhoef was chosen to welcome the newcomer to the promotion but posed little problem for Corey Anderson.

Anderson took down Manhoef less than a minute into the second round, which marked the beginning of the end. From there, he established a dominant position and Manhoef struggled to return to his feet.

A minute later, Anderson postured up and began raining down vicious elbows, splitting Manhoef open with one of the strikes. Manhoef covered up and the referee called time on the bout at 2:34.

"It went just like we planned," Anderson said in his postfight interview.

Anderson, best known for his wrestling skills, dominated the contest from start to finish. He got Manhoef to the mat twice in the opening round and badly outstruck his opponent. Anderson benefited from an 8-inch reach advantage and a 7-inch height advantage, which allowed him to bully Manhoef on the ground.

Corey Anderson signed with Bellator in August 2020

Corey Anderson’s last UFC outing was in February 2020 in a rematch against current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

While Anderson had won their first encounter in 2015 via decision, Blachowicz won the rematch after a first-round KO.

Blachowicz would then go on and fight for the vacant title defeating Dominick Reyes after Jon Jones relinquished the belt to go up a weight division and fight at heavyweight.

Apart from Blachowicz, Corey Anderson also holds wins over big names such as Glover Teixeira, Ilir Latifi, Fabio Maldonado, and Johnny Walker among many others.

While he had mentioned that he wanted to fight for the UFC light heavyweight strap, his negotiations fell through with the promotion after the Blachowicz fight and he signed with rivals Bellator in August.

His win in his first outing was impressive and he would be in the running for a title shot against Vadim Nemkov if he continues to pick up wins in his new home.

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Edited by James McGlade
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