Corey Anderson was lost.
After a knockout for future UFC champion Jan Blachowicz, who stopped the momentum he was building against his own title shot, ex-Ultimate Fighter The winner was at a crossroads in his career when he was invited to help Daniel Cormier prepare for his upcoming trilogy match against Stipe Miocic.
After training camp, Anderson enjoyed the work he did with the team at the American Kickboxing Academy, but what Cormier said to him afterwards changed his career forever.
“Before I left, he says’ Corey, I want to be honest with you, I’m commenting and fighting, and there’s no reason why you should not be UFC champion by the end of 2020, ” Anderson revealed. , when he spoke to MMA fight. “[DC told me] ‘there is no reason why you should not be a master.’ It was only from the work we put in and he could see the way I train and compete. He could see how good I was.
“He said ‘let’s say it like this – there’s only one person I’ve been able to go five rounds straight and give me work, constant competition and that’s Cain Velasquez and you’ve seen what he has You’re the only person I’ve ever had who’s come to camp and competes with me and puts work in and takes me down, and you beat me back when I hit you. Most guys can not do that and I have beaten everyone in the division and I was world champion at 205 [pounds]. There’s no reason why you should not be [champion]. ‘”
Hearing it from a former two-division champion made all the difference in the world for Anderson, who admittedly carried a lot of doubts about himself, even though he had heard similar praise from his coaches ever since he got his spot on the UFC list.
Considering that he once viewed Cormier as one of his biggest rivals as he pursued a UFC championship, Anderson began to understand that he was perhaps his own biggest obstacle to reaching the full potential he had as a fighter. .
“You go with a guy like DC who you do not really know very well and you help him train and he tells you this and it’s like what my coaches have been telling me all along is true,” said Anderson. “Maybe I should just believe more. Have more confidence in myself. That’s what happened.
“I came over to Bellator and I took it with me. Leaving the UFC and the evil blood was boiled to a point where it was no fun to fight anymore. It was to fight for my job and fight to prove a point. every time.When I came to Bellator it was a new board.I had fun again and I trusted DC helped me recognize myself and now I put all three things together – have fun, be confident and just be patient. “
It meant the world to Anderson to hear it from Cormier, and the confidence he gained from that conversation has only multiplied over his last three wins in a row.
“It lifted a huge burden lifted off my back,” Anderson said. “Because it was one of the champions I was looking to fight and beat at one point. He even called Ali [Abdelaziz]my manager, and said ‘I’m glad I did not take that fight and I spoke rubbish to Corey on Twitter, I’m glad I did not take that fight, this boy is actually good.’
“To hear it, he’s not just blowing smoke. I’m so good, I just had to believe it.”
Cormier also helped Anderson get past the hostility he had nurtured at the end of his UFC run, as he seemed to be constantly battling with leaders like Dana White over his treatment in promotion.
In the midst of a four-game winning streak at the time, Anderson still did not receive much consideration at all for a potential title shot, which only fueled his rage.
In the end, Anderson says Cormier explained to him that he held on too tightly to a desire to earn respect in the UFC when he really should have only been concerned about his own personal gains in the sport.
“The way DC told me, ‘you fell in love with three letters – the UFC,'” Anderson explained. “That was all it was, because that’s all you see on social media.”
“The three letters are not going to pay your child’s tuition. The three letters will not pay you anymore. I made a financial choice. I tried to stay in the UFC for three letters. DC loves the UFC, he’s a UFC guy, and he’s doing well in the UFC so he did not want to leave the UFC. But for me I did not feel as good as I do now, so why would not I leave? I did the right thing by myself and my family. a smart business move. ”
When he first asked for his release from the UFC, which then led to him signing with Bellator, Anderson still held on to a lot of inner turmoil compared to his previous promotion.
Now that he’s on the verge of becoming Bellator champion with his fight against Vadim Nemkov on Friday night, and the $ 1 million prize that comes with a win, Anderson is finally starting to look at the bigger picture when it comes to his career.
Thanks to the advice he received from Cormier along with his new fortune in Bellator, Anderson has been able to put his past with the UFC behind him forever.
“It’s like a bad relationship,” Anderson said. “One of my teammates told me that first, it’s like a bad ex-boyfriend. You have a boyfriend that you keep running back to, trying to prove yourself to, and you try to please her, but then you meet a new girl, and that changed everything. You’re happier with this girl, and you’ve moved on, and you do not even think about that girl anymore. You do not think of the former ex who used to pull you down and you lose sleep over because you found happiness elsewhere. That was exactly what it was.
“I’m not even thinking about the UFC anymore. It was only after I lost to Jan Blachowicz and I ended up in the hospital and all this that I looked at my wife and told her I could not do this anymore. I’m done. “The fighting game, this is the fighting industry. I fought because it was fun to fight, but now I look at it from a business perspective, and everything makes so much more sense.”