Corey Anderson is happy to wash his hands of UFC politics.
Anderson has enjoyed his ride thus far in Bellator, contrasting it to reneged promise-after-reneged promise during his run in the sport's leading promotion.
“It’s the same thing, just a different banner. The only thing different about it [is] it’s a little more motivating because you got the promoter and the company actually, you can tell they kind of want you here. They like you here. At the end of my road with the UFC, that was part of the reason why I just got up and left. It got to the point like, after that loss, me and my manager both, we knew it was like," Anderson told Duane Finley and Hunter A. Homistek on Network Brawl's The Bo and Glow MMA show. "My manager, he thought maybe there was some hope, but I knew right away. Ever since [UFC] 232 when I voiced my opinion with the Jon Jones stuff moving from Vegas to Cali, it had been a downhill slope for me and the UFC. They were waiting for me to lose so they could kind of make it tough for me. And once that loss happened, you could see it.”
Anderson said he was promised a UFC light heavyweight title shot on multiple occasions, but was passed over each time because he wasn't a needle-mover in the promotion's eyes.
“The only meeting I had with the higher-ups, with Hunter and those guys from the UFC, was that when I wouldn’t take that Johnny Walker fight," he shared. "I was like, ‘You guys promised me three fights before, if I win this I get a title fight.’ Why would I take somebody that’s not even ranked at the moment? And they finally had a meeting with me in the office and it was like, ‘I’m going to just tell you, Corey, right now: The needle doesn’t move when we say your name because you’re just, you’re too humble. You don’t talk trash, so people don’t want to see you. You gotta go out there and you gotta do something exciting. We need to get the needle to move before we can give you a title fight.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not here about making the needle move. I’m here to win.’”
One situation that really stuck with him was how the birth of child was spun into a story of not wanting to fight.
There's something you gotta know about @CoreyA_MMA: He keeps the receipts. ----— Hunter Alek Homistek (@HunterAHomistek) February 16, 2021
The @BellatorMMA LHW Grand-Prix competitor opens up with @DuaneFinleyMMA and me during the latest 'Bo & Glow #MMA Show' over on @NetworkBrawl. #BrawlNetwork
Full episode: https://t.co/zkdxvXL5kh pic.twitter.com/CrJRvaCUV8
“All that stuff sticks to me, man… Alexander Gustafsson, he said something a while ago, and that stuck with me and I was so upset that that fight didn’t happen," Anderson confessed. "Because they asked me for it, but I was literally, it was the day my wife was giving birth. And I talked to Alex, and Alex was like, ‘That’s fine. ‘We’ll do June 1.’ Then Dana White and them tried to go to the media and said, ‘Nope. Corey says no. He doesn’t want the fight.’"
“And I showed them the message, like, ‘Look, me and Gustafsson talked about it. Just move it to June.’ They’re like, ‘Nope. It’s too late. Anthony Smith is covering.’ Then Anthony Smith went in an interview and said, ‘Corey’s ducking Gus so I’m covering for him.’ And that’s when everything really went downhill for me, because I started talking trash to everybody," he said. "Like, really? Really? I got the message with me and Gus going back and forth setting the date. We both want to fight each other, but literally, the day the fight happened, we were giving birth. So it wasn’t like it was a hoax, but they weren’t hearing it.”
Anderson (14-5) will fight Bellator newcomer Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the opening round of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix on April 9.