Anderson was very clear about his intentions to fight for the Light Heavyweight Championship next after knocking out a hotshot of the division, Johnny Walker at UFC 244 in the first round. But he claims that his words about leaving the promotion were taken out of context by the media, which is why it came out as an ultimatum.
MMA Fighting reported on what he had to say in his defense.
Anderson is in no rush for the title
Riding on four back-to-back wins, including the vicious knockout over Walker, Anderson has his eyes set on an eventual fight with the title holder Jon Jones. He is even prepared to fight the top contender Dominick Reyes if he is offered the bout.
"The interview in the back they said ‘what do you want next?’ and I said I want a title fight. I want Jon Jones my next fight. Then they mentioned Dominick Reyes and I said 100 percent, Dominick Reyes has been doing his work, he’s put in his time. I wanted to fight him but he’s earned this fight, too. I’m in no rush to fight for the title right now."
However, he only urged to be released from UFC if there was a situation where he is pushed behind and made to fight new fighters instead of top-ranked ones. According to Anderson, this statement of his was misconstrued by the media and was not presented in the right light.
"If Jon Jones wants to fight Dominick Reyes in December or January, that’s completely fine. I will take the winner of that. Then it went onto ‘but what if they try to take one of these new guys and bump them up in the rankings and put them in front of you — what if after Dominick Reyes, they push you to the back of the line again, what would you do?’. That’s when I said, if they’re going to do that to me, then release me."
In the meanwhile, Dana White also made comments about Anderson being too much of a talker and said that he should take the fights UFC offers him. In reference to that, Anderson said that he had no problem in doing so, but at no point is he ready to fight a new contender now that he has put in the work to deserve the title shot.