Derek Anderson is fresh off a win at Bellator 197 and he’s looking to make up for the lost time he spent recovering from injury.
MMA UK checked in with him while he taught a Muay Thai class at Rock Steady Gym in Escondido, California. After a 447-day layoff, Derek beat Zak Bucia by unanimous decision (30-27,30-27, 30-27).
A performance that impressed Big John McCarthy, who said:
“Derek Anderson is one of those guys, he flies under the radar… I don’t know how it happens but he’s one of the most dangerous lightweights there is in Bellator or in the world”.
Hearing the kind words from an iconic member of the MMA community gives him new motivation, he and his manager Johnny Hughes say that he’s back as a more mature fighter.
Coming into his “manhood” he’s not looking to joke around and have fun anymore. He also looks to secure a spot in one division contemplating where he fits in. He’s been matched in both welterweight and lightweight bouts and recently fought in a catchweight at 165lb against Bucia.
“I’d like to eventually fight the matches Bellator tried to make at 170 against MVP and Paul Daley, I like MVP’s style more for me”
But if the promotion were to open a discussed 165lb division Anderson says that would be his natural weight for competition.
“They were talking about it before my last fight, we were fighting at 165. I knew it was a newly recognized division, but I didn’t know it was getting the recognition to the point where Bellator might pick it up soon or something like that, that would be great”.
Until then, he says the lightweight division is his for the taking, planning to ultimately rematch champion Brent Primus. Derek faced Brent Primus at Bellator 141 on August 28, 2015. He lost the fight by split decision. Similar to another contender in the division, Derek has a strong opinion of the current champ.
“He sucks and I’ll emphasize on that just because he won’t fight me. He’s close to retiring man because that guy’s not a fighter. I don’t like to talk too much crap but apparently, I do on this guy. I don’t know we had a controversial fight”.
He believes he has to get past Benson Henderson and Michael Chandler first. The plan is to get one of those fights booked by the end of 2018.