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Returning to the cage on yet another short notice fight, Eryk Anders is happy to get back to action. His last fight, a loss to Kryzsztof Jotko, snapped a two fight win streak and now Anders is on a mission to get back in the win column. Coming into UFC Vegas 14 against Antonio Arroyo short notice, Anders is prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Listen to the full podcast with Eryk Anders on Spotify below and everywhere else podcasts are sold.
Eryk Anders has done some traveling in recent weeks. At UFC 254, Anders cornered his teammate, Walt Harris, at fight island. “I was out there on Fight Island with Walt [Harris] getting ready for his fight. They called me and I feel good. I went ahead and said yes,” said Anders.
Despite the short notice, Anders feels like he has the weight cut under control ahead of UFC Vegas 14. “It’s going to be a nice little weight cut, but I’ve done more with less time so I’m not really too much worry about it.” He is also hoping for war. Anders often thinks about his fight with Thiago Santos and longs for more like that one, where he leaves everything on the canvas on fight night. “It was a super fun fight for me just because I like those wars. I like standing in the middle and bang. Thiago is more than willing to do so. I wish I can get more of those.” He continues, “I’m just going to go balls to the wall cutting this weight and get in the cage.”
Short notice fights are tricky for fighters on both sides. Eryk Anders was not in camp and training for someone with such a short camp presents unique challenges. Anders is taking the fight process one step at a time, however, ready to check one thing off the list and not over extend himself. “I’m going to do me. There’s a bunch of guys that move like him and emulate him. The way I see it, I’m going to go in here and cut this weight and get to it.”
Eryk Anders on Khabib Nurmagomedov
As mentioned at the top, Eryk Anders was at UFC 254 in person and witnessed the electrifying fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. Anders says that Khabib actually surprised him with not only his post fight retirement, but also his approach to fighting someone as heavy-handed as Gaethje.
“It was a fantastic fight and it was cool to be there to see it. I think what was surprising the most was his willingness to engage Gaethje on the feet. I think he out struck him in that first round. I don’t think anybody saw that happening. It kind of made Gaethje look like a fish out of water in his own habitat on the feet. He is definitely in the conversation for the greatest of all time, you know, at 29-0. We have hardly seen this guy sweat in the octagon. I’m sure he’s got a lot more physically, but mentally, it’s probably the best thing. We don’t see a whole lot of athletes retire in their prime and on top. Any time that happens, it’s a little bit of a shock. Khabib knows what’s going on in his head and what it is that he wants to do. I’m sure he’s made more than enough money to be set. ONce you lose that motivation, you know it’s time to give it up.”
Khabib retired and shocked the MMA universe. Everyone assumed he would fight one more time as his late-father has said and would then retire at a nice, even 30-0. The champ hung up the gloves and surprised everyone, even his close teammates like Daniel Cormier. Anders believes that while it was nice and inspiring to see Khabib hang them up on top, he thinks that there are financial issues that keep fighters fighting past their primes.
“I think that he’s made more money that the vast, vast majority of fighters. He can retire, he’s financially set. A lot of fighters don’t have that financial backbone or made as much money has Khabib has. They may want to retire in their prime and when they should, but their money isn’t right so they keep fighting past their prime. I don’t think that he’s going to set a trend until you see fighters make the kind of money he makes.”
In conversation about greats, when asked if he would have liked to fight the great Anderson Silva before he retired at UFC Vegas 13, Anders says that he’s been in the ring with greats and loves the thrill. He fought Loyoto Machida in 2018 and has had other fantastic fights.
“I like to fight all the greats. It was cool to step in there with Machida. He’s probably not on there with Anderson Silva in terms of legend status, but to go in there and fight a former champion and one of the best to ever do it is an awesome opportunity. It’s something that a lot of fighters want to do.”
As mentioned in every broadcast, Eryk Anders won a National Championship playing linebacker for the University of Alabama. The head coach, Nick Saban, transcended the sport of football, has won six National Champions and when he retires, Saban will go down as the greatest coach to ever coach the sport. Anders and his former coach have a different relationship now that he’s no longer a student athlete.
“We have more of a grown man to man relationship now. It’s not player-coach anymore. He’s more like mentor-student now. He’s not X’s and O’s anymore. It’s more about life, decisions financially, and being responsible. The game changes when you’re not playing ball any more.”