Before Corey Anderson attempts to earn a future light heavyweight title shot at UFC Rio Rancho against Jan Blachowicz, watch him derail Johnny Walker’s hype train at UFC 244.
In recent times, Corey Anderson expressed frustration of not being in line to receive a shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Now, Anderson will have the opportunity to clinch the spot of Jones’ next challenger when he meets fellow light heavyweight contender Jan Blachowicz in the main event of UFC Rio Rancho on Feb. 15.
This upcoming bout between Anderson and Blachowicz will serve as a rematch of their UFC 191 encounter, which Anderson won via unanimous decision.
That first fight was part of Anderson’s strong start to his UFC career after breaking through into the promotion by way of winning the light heavyweight portion of The Ultimate Fighter season 19. His hot streak was halted with three losses in four bouts between mid-2016 and the end of 2017, but Anderson rebounded with dominant decision wins over Patrick Cummins, Glover Teixeira and Ilir Latifi in 2018.
Despite his wins over notable names, Anderson’s style and lack of finishes caused him to be soured on for a title shot. Jones even passed him up in favor of facing Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. It also played a role in Anderson, despite having more experience, being considered an underdog when he and Johnny Walker faced off in New York’s Madison Square Garden as the featured UFC 244 prelim bout.
Walker, who got into the UFC through season two of Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil, earned big attention through three straight performance bonus-earning, first-round knockouts of Khalil Rountree Jr., Justin Ledet and Misha Cirkunov — all three coming in less than two minutes, the latter two coming in less than a minute.
But those expecting Walker’s hot start to stretch into UFC 244 were in for a big surprise. And now, courtesy of the UFC, fight fans can watch this encounter for a limited time.
Now with four consecutive wins and this momentum-earning finish under his belt, Anderson goes for a shot at the gold. But a familiar foe in Blachowicz — who has won six of his last seven, including a knockout of former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and a split decision over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza — stands in Anderson’s way between him and the potential title fight, as Blachowicz looks to be named the next title challenger himself.
UFC Rio Rancho takes place on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, live from the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Follow along with FanSided MMA all your live results and highlights.