Image source: Corey Anderson Instagram (@coreya_mma)
Anderson feels as though he was massively overlooked when deciding on Jon Jones’ opponent for UFC 247. However, since knocking out Walker Anderson told MMA Fighting that he feels the UFC has given him more respect lately and it’s now time to grab a title shot with a win over Jan Blachowicz tonight in the main event of UFC Rio Rancho.
“I definitely think I’ve gained a little bit more respect and a better relationship. I don’t feel like they’re trying to dog me out. I think I should be ready to go for the title fight instead of fighting again but they put some respect on my name. They recognize me now.
Like Dana said, ‘Corey wanted to send a message and we got it, we know who Corey Anderson is now’.”
Anderson firmly believes the winner of the main event this weekend is next in line for a title shot and that’s the reason why the UFC booked the fight so close to Jones’ last title defence.
“That’s why they set it up. That’s why my manager believes it was set up right after that fight. That’s why it was so fast. I definitely think they’re doing it so we both fought recently. It’s not like one fight is in January and the other fight is in June and now we’ve got to wait until the end of the year to fight.
We can get active right away. After this fight, we can get the contract signed.”
Anderson already holds a win over Blachowicz and believes that the Polishman is largely the same fighter as the first contest and hasn’t made many improvements in his game.
“It seems like he’s the same guy, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m looking past him or that I doubt him but I’ve said it every fight he goes into, I call the combo he’s going to do. The same time that I’m calling when he does something else, I’ll say, ‘watch he’s going to do this next’ and he does it. It’s the same thing since my fight with him.
It shouldn’t be much different from the first fight. Then, I just had wrestling. That’s all I had was my wrestling and my grit. I’ve learned since then that my wrestling isn’t going to take me to the top. I have to put it all together. Now I have all those things that I needed. I have a lot more well-rounded game than I did then and I’m just continuing to get better.”
Although Anderson already has a win over Blachowicz and is confident that history will repeat itself tonight, he doesn’t want his confidence to be sounds as though he’s looking past his opponent.
“I don’t want to seem cocky like I can’t lose. I just have confidence in myself and where I am. That’s why I’ve been doing so well the last four fights. I’m in a new spot in my life where I found my stride. I’m just going into the fight demonstrating what I do in the gym.”
Anderson believes he is the best fighter in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and the experience he has gained since his first bout with Blachowicz is what he needed.
“If I’ve got to beat everybody to get there, I’ll do it. So here I am. I’ll do it. I’ll beat everybody in there.
I believe I’m better than everybody in this division. I beat him pretty bad the first time, my third fight in the UFC and sixth fight ever. Now I have 14 fights in the UFC and 17 fights ever. Now I’m more dangerous. I’m getting better, he’s getting older. I don’t think it’s going to be much different from the first time.”
Anderson and Blachowicz will face off tonight in the main event of UFC Rio Rancho at the Santa Ana Star Center.