Corey Anderson won’t let his loss to Jimi Manuwa last night (Sat. March 18, 2017) bring him down.
The pair met in the main event of UFC Fight Night 106 last night from the O2 Arena in London, England, where the native son Manuwa took home a first round knockout win. With the loss Anderson has now been defeated in two of his last four Octagon appearances.
In his post-fight press conference yesterday, however, Anderson refused to beat himself up about the loss as he knows he was in the Octagon with one of the best 205-pound talents in the world (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“It didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, but it was a great experience for me,” Anderson said. “I told Alex (Gustafsson) and Jimi after, ‘Thank you for letting me step in the cage with you.’ Not that I’m over-respecting him, but I respect him as he’s the No. 4-ranked guy (in the official UFC rankings). He’s where I’ve got to get to and that’s what I’ve got to do to get to the top. He’s lost to (Anthony) ‘Rumble’ (Johnson) and Alex – the two other top guys there. So you can’t sit there and beat yourself up about it. You can’t cry over spilled milk.”
The former Ultimate Fighter Season 19 (TUF 19) winner says he’ll go back to his gym and focus on building up some more size moving forward in his light heavyweight career:
“I’m a big guy in my gym but I’ve got to do some growing,” Anderson said. “That’s just something I know. Now I’ve got to go back. Everyone knows I have cardio. I’ve just got to work on building size (and) some natural weight. Lifting more, eating more – whatever it is, I’ve got to get a good dietician and get my weight up.”
Despite his recent setback the 27-year-old Anderson does not want to take a step back in competition, as he knows testing himself against the best the light heavyweight division has to offer now will pay dividends in the future:
“Just like when they called me for this fight, I told them I’ll fight whoever,” Anderson said. “I’m ready. I’m in the gym, I’m training, I’m a professional. That’s what professionals do. You don’t pick and dip and dive. I don’t sit here and say, ‘I don’t want to fight him because he’s too good.’ I don’t say, ‘I want to fight that guy because he’s an easy win.’
“I’m in this sport to be the best, eventually. I’m not the best right now, but eventually I will be. I plan on it before I leave this sport, and wherever it is I’ve got to go, I’m willing to go. Like they say, ‘You’ve got to do things you’ve never done to get where you’ve never been.’ I’ve never been a champ.”