Corey Anderson, the former Hononegah wrestler who has gone on to become one of the best MMA fighters in the world, can now go after that $1 million again at Bellator 288 on November 18th.
He also now knows that his next Bellator MMA fight will be closer to home: in Chicago.
“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished,” Anderson said, “but I’ve got more.”
Vadim Nemkov was dominated most of the way during his Bellator light heavyweight World Grand Prix finals on April 15 in San Jose, California.
Corey Anderson on the fight:Q&A with Rockford-area MMA star after controversial ruling stole a $1 million win
Anderson won the third round, and a TKO call was declared after he beat former champion with solid ground-and-pound. However, during a four-minute video review and meeting of fight officials, it was found that Anderson accidentally butted Nemkov’s head open, taking away Anderson’s chance to win.
Anderson had to wait in anticipation for the rematch between the Russian Nemkov before he could finally have his shot of becoming champion.
Now Anderson knows when that time will arrive.
“This will be the first time I’ve fought in Illinois since my first MMA fight,” Anderson said, talking about his 13-second knockout back on March 2, 2013, in Springfield. “Heck, I didn’t know anything back then, but that was fun. … Now I’m coming back. I’m really excited about that.”
Yuri Nemkov has held onto his light heavyweight belt. The light heavyweight World Grand Prix remains in limbo, but now Alexander “The Great Lion” Zaleta (16-5) who was 3-0 fighting for Bellator and had a close round 1 against Jemkov will go after the prize again.
Anderson Silva will be fighting Quinton Jackson at Wintrust Arena in the main event of Bellator 288. He just recently signed a new multi-fight contract with Bellator, even before his old deal was done.
He was an all-American heavyweight wrestler for Hononegah back in 2006-07 and has won seven out of his last eight bouts as a MMA fighter. In his last fight, he was seconds away from his largest payday.
Vadim Nemkov (left) and Corey Anderson react after the World Grand Prix Light Heavyweight Final at Bellator 277 in San Jose, CA on Friday, April 15, 2022.
“It came unraveled,” in retrospect, Wayne Gretzky said. The hockey legend realized he had to do it all over again, and now the fans are cheering him on at rink near his hometown of Brantford, Ontario.
“I’m not crying about anything. I took a couple weeks off, got away, got it all worked out, and now it’s in the past,” Anderson said. “I’m ready to do it again, but better. I feel like I’m getting better every day.
“And let’s go, Chicago, and Illinois. I’m ready to show my love for 815 (Rockford’s area code).”
Nemkov won nine straight and ranked fourth, while Anderson was fifth in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie Light Heavyweight Rankings. Since the fight, however, Nemkov has dropped to fifth in the rankings, while Anderson has risen to third.
Unbeaten Usman Nurmagomedov, who is challenging for Patrickyk Freire’s lightweight belt, will fight on the same card as Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald.