Corey Anderson reveals the advice Daniel Cormier gave him that changed his career trajectory forever


Corey Anderson was lost.

Coming off a knockout to future UFC champion Jan Blachowicz, which stopped the momentum he was building towards a title shot of his own, the ex-Ultimate Fighter winner was at a crossroads in his career when he was invited to help Daniel Cormier prepare for his upcoming trilogy bout against Stipe Miocic.

After the camp, Anderson was happy about his work with American Kickboxing Academy. But what Cormier told him afterward changed Anderson’s career path.

“He said to me, “Corey, I am going to be truthful with you. I commentate, and I fight, and there’s no reason why UFC champion should not happen by the end 2020,'” Anderson stated to MMA Fighting. “[DC told me] ‘there’s no reason you shouldn’t be champion.’ It was just from the work we put in and he could see the way I train and compete. He saw how talented I was.

“He said ‘let’s put it this way — there’s only been 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’s done, right? You’re the only person I’ve ever had come into camp and compete with me and put work in and take me down and you hit me back when I hit you. That’s something most guys cannot do. I beat everyone in my division, and was also the 205 [pounds]. world champion. There is no reason to not be [champion].'”

Hearing this from an ex-two-division champion was a huge help to Anderson. Anderson admitted that he had a lot self-doubt even though he heard similar praises from his coaches since earning his UFC spot.

Anderson began to see Cormier in a different light as he tried to win a UFC championship. He realized that he might have been his greatest obstacle to reaching his full potential as a fighter.

“You go with a guy like DC, who you don’t really know that well and you help him train, and he tells you this and it’s like maybe what my coaches have been telling me this whole time is true,” Anderson said. “Maybe I just need to believe more. Have confidence in myself more. That’s what happened.

“I came over to Bellator and I brought that with me. The bad blood and frustration at the UFC had made it difficult to continue fighting. Fighting for my job was what I did, and trying to win every fight. It was an entirely new experience when I arrived at Bellator. I was having fun again and I had this confidence that DC helped me recognize in myself and now I put all three things together — have fun, be confident and just be patient.”

Anderson was touched by the words of Cormier. The confidence that Anderson gained from the conversation is evident in his three consecutive wins.

” “It took a lot off my shoulders,” Anderson stated. Anderson said, “Cause it was one of my favorite champs to beat at one time. He even called Ali [Abdelaziz], my manager, and said ‘I’m glad I didn’t take that fight and I was talking trash to Corey on Twitter, I’m glad I didn’t take that fight, this kid is actually good.’

“To hear that, he ain’t just blowing smoke. It’s true .”


Cormier also helped Anderson move past the animosity he had been harboring during the end of his run in the UFC when it seemed like he was constantly battling with executives like Dana White over his treatment in the promotion.

Despite a winning streak of four fights, Anderson was still not given much attention for a title shot. This only fuelled his fury.

Anderson claims that Cormier told him that Anderson was too attached to his desire to be respected in the UFC, when in reality he should only have cared about himself and the sport’s personal benefits.

“The way DC told me ‘you fell in love with three letters — UFC,'” Anderson explained. That’s it, because that’s what you see on social media .’

“Those three letters aren’t going to pay your kid’s college tuition. These letters won’t pay you any more. I made a financial choice. Three letters were written by me to the UFC. DC loves the UFC, he’s a UFC guy and he does well in the UFC so he wouldn’t leave the UFC. But for me, I wasn’t doing as well as I’m doing now so why wouldn’t I leave? It was a smart business move. It’s smart business .”

When he first asked for his release from the UFC, which then led to signing with Bellator, Anderson was still holding onto a lot of inner turmoil towards his former promotion.

Now that he’s on the cusp of becoming Bellator champion with his fight against Vadim Nemkov on Friday night, and the $1 million prize that comes along with a win, Anderson has finally started to look at the bigger picture when it comes to his career.

He has now been able, thanks to Cormier’s advice and his newfound happiness in Bellator.

“It is like a bad romance,” Anderson stated. “One of my teammates said it to me first, it’s like a bad ex-girlfriend. It’s like you have a girl you run back to trying to impress her and trying to please. But then, you met a new girl who changed your life. You’re happier with this girl and you’ve moved on and you don’t even think about that girl anymore. You don’t think about that past ex that used to drag you down and you lose sleep over because you found happiness somewhere else. It was exactly that.

“I don’t even think about the UFC anymore. After I lost to Jan Blachowicz, and ended up in the hospital with all of my stuff, I turned around and told my wife that I couldn’t continue this. This is my fight business. I am done fighting. I was fighting because it was fun to fight but now I’m looking at it from a business aspect and everything makes so much more sense.”