Corey Anderson confident he’s proven he’s the No. 1 light heavyweight in the world: ‘I wonder how Dana White feels now?’


Corey Anderson isn’t a man who gets lost in regret.

This past Friday, Bellator 277, Anderson was in dismay after his fight against Vadim Nemkov was declared no contest following an accidently clash of heads towards the end of round 3. If Nemkov had been able to start the fourth round prior to the stoppage, the scorecards would have been added up, and Anderson would have been declared the winner. Unfortunately, because there were still three seconds remaining in the third round and the ringside physician would not allow Nemkov to continue, he left the cage without a win, without the Bellator light heavyweight title and without the $1 million prize awarded to the winner of the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix.

Anderson, a few days after an emotionally charged night, isn’t too upset about showing good sportsmanship in alerting the referee of the clash of heads. He can’t help but feel that winning by technicality wouldn’t be as satisfying.

” “I don’t know whether I would be happy if the belt was mine, if those three second went off,” Anderson said to The Fighter vs. The writer . “Even though I was dominating, we all saw the way the fight was going, people are always going to say, ‘You didn’t finish him, there’s two rounds left, you never really finished the fight.’ I would have been happy at least to be the champ and they could make the rematch still. They probably would have made the rematch either way because of the way it ended, but I don’t know how I feel to be honest. Cause I don’t have the belt, and I don’t have the million in the safe.

“But, I have been thinking about it. If I had the belt, if those three seconds would have ended it and the fight was over, I’m confident I was going to just to do the same thing the next two rounds if it even went that far. However, it was clear that I wanted to see the world clearly without having to do the headbutt. I won .”


After a tight first round, Anderson took control of his wrestling and ground games, scoring numerous takedowns that kept Nemkov on the floor. Anderson also cut Nemkov in the third round with a combination of feet that seemed to temporarily rattle him.

Anderson feels that his performance supported what he had been saying about himself and the sport, even though the fight was over.

“I am the best in the world, not just in Bellator, but the best,” Anderson said. “I went out there and showed it. I truly felt it and believed it, and now I really, really truly believe it. I expected that fight to be a tough one, but let’s be honest. Although it wasn’t an easy fight for me, it made it seem like I was the most skilled fighter.

“I made it look like I was the champion. I went out there and fought and did everything I was supposed to do. Like I said, if you go out there and you’re still knocking me now, you’re just a hater.”

Anderson has been nothing but dominant since signing with Bellator after he requested and received his release from the UFC back in 2020.

Anderson was feeling neglected and unappreciated during his last year at the UFC. Anderson’s departure came as a result.

Anderson now realizes he made the right career choice by signing Bellator, but after the performance against Nemkov, he was still thinking about the UFC.

“In my head, I was like, ‘I wonder how Dana White feels now?'” Anderson said. I wonder if Anderson saw the fight. I wonder how he feels. Granted, he might not have seen it, but I just wondered does he regret letting me go? Do they regret not promoting me as they promoted other men? Now that they know what I can do, and can show me some love, does he feel that I belong somewhere? They actually care about me.

“I don’t miss the UFC, but I wonder if they ever look back and wonder. I wonder what if we actually put that promotion behind Corey, what could have happened? Now they see, the world sees, Corey is the best. You can’t knock it. You can’t say nothing about it.”

Anderson has moved past whatever animosity he once felt toward the UFC, but that doesn’t change the fact that the organization essentially saw him as expendable when he asked for a release from his contract.

“You could have had a kid that started his career there and literally finished his career, and if you put the right time in him, who knows what could happen if they show love,” Anderson said about the UFC. “The fact that I spent all my time there fighting with them, I feel like I left at the right time. I was at a crossroads of my career right before my opportunity to fight for a title. I lost, but I hadn’t peaked yet. I hadn’t even hit my prime yet.

“It’s kind of like they let me go right in the transition stage where when I came back, I might have got a little second wind and they’re like, ‘Oh this kid is a lot better than we thought he was,’ and they would have saw something in me. But we’ll never know cause now we’re gone.”

Of course, Anderson knows that because he didn’t get a definitive ending to the fight with Nemkov that he’ll still deal with criticism about where he ranks among the best light heavyweights in the sport, but that’s nothing new to him. Even with a lopsided win on his resume over current UFC champion Glover Teixeira, along with a dominant run in Bellator thus far, Anderson has just come to accept that some people will never give him the credit he’s due.

“He said that anyone who doubts my ability now is just a hater on Corey Anderson. It’s not that they don’t see my performance. They just don’t like Corey Anderson. They won’t stop knocking on me, no matter how much I try. At this point, I stopped doing it for the people a while ago. I do it to prove to myself and show what I know.

“They don’t like my shine and it’s okay. It’s okay. You don’t have to go out there and knock my skills. Just say you don’t like me. I’ll take that over anything. That’s fine. We need haters. I need haters in this world, but don’t sit there and knock my performance just cause you don’t like me, trying to get other people to believe your funk. 100%, it’s clear to me. It’s true, but .”

is unambiguous.