Corey Anderson explains why he turned down Luke Rockhold matchup

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Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson is still without an opponent

“Overtime” appeared to have a fight in the works with Alexander Gustafsson, only to see Anthony Smith earn that matchup instead. Then, the #7 ranked light heavyweight was offered former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 238 in June — yet he decided to decline.

“I was talking to Ali, and I guess they wanted the fight to go or whatever, saying ‘If Corey beat Gus he’s the No. 1 contender.’ And all of a sudden they gave him the other guy that just fought for a title,” Anderson explained on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “So now it’s like, what’s going on? I don’t think the winner of that fight will get the title shot because they just fought and both lost. But I wouldn’t put it past them.

“So then they called me a couple of days later to fight Luke Rockhold in Chicago,” he added. “Okay, so I just dominated three top 10 guys, proven what I need to get to the title fight but they’re calling me to fight Luke Rockhold? A 185’er who just got knocked out? He’s not getting a title fight anytime soon, so why do they want me to fight him? They think I’m just a number, think I’m just going to be here to fill in fights. That’s not where I’m at anymore. I have a family now and I’m not here to just fight to fight. I’m not fighting for myself, or for fun. I got to support my family and my goals. My goals are to get the belt”

Corey Anderson (12-4) has really turned things around after losing two of three fights between 2016 and 2017. Since then, the 29-year-old has racked up three-straight victories over Patrick Cummings, Glover Teixeira and most recently, Ilir Latifi who he defeated by unanimous decision at UFC 232 in December.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 winner says he needs to be more selective in choosing opponents as he sets his sights on a UFC title.

 “I don’t plan on fighting forever, so if I keep taking these dumb fights or just any fights, I’m just going to be here fighting, and fighting and fighting,” he said. “I will have fought 30 more times and gotten no closer to a title fight because I’m just taking whatever fight they throw to me.”

In the meantime, Anderson now has his sights set on undefeated 205-pound fighter Dominick Reyes, who recently picked up a win this past weekend at UFC London over Volkan Oezdemir.

Would you like to see Corey Anderson face Dominick Reyes next?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/19/2019. 




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