Corey Anderson, who is set to take on red-hot prospect Johnny Walker at UFC 244 this weekend, has been calling for big-name opponents in the light heavyweight division for some time. Unfortunately, the UFC does not feel he’s earned these high-profile fights quite yet. At least, that’s what they told him.
Speaking to MMA Fighting ahead of UFC 244, Anderson recalled a recent meeting with UFC brass, during which he was told he doesn’t deserve high-profile because he’s not a so-called “needle-mover.”
“I ended up meeting with the owners of the UFC, and it’s pretty much the same thing they said,” Anderson said. “(They said), ‘We’ve got to get the needle moving on you before we can get you any big fights.’
“If I do something exciting, my stock will jump, but I’m not that guy. I’m going to do the same old thing that got me here.”
Anderson is currently on a solid, three-fight streak and has long stood out as one of the light heavyweight division’s premier players. Given those realities, it should come as no surprise that he found this feedback from the UFC a little hard to stomach.
That being said, he’s trying not to get discouraged, and plans to continue winning to force the UFC’s hand.
“It didn’t sit well with me, but at the same time, what can I do? I’ve got a contract, I can’t go nowhere, I can’t do nothing else,” Anderson said. “It’s not like I can boycott. One person ain’t going to do sh*t. It is what it is, (and) I just have to play the hand that’s dealt. I just have to go the Kamaru Usman route and just keep winning. Win, win, win until nobody’s left.”
If Corey Anderson beats Johnny Walker at UFC 244, do you think he deserves a number-one contender fight or a title shot?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/29/2019.