ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Rockton native Corey Anderson is ready for his latest UFC fight. Saturday evening he’ll step into the octagon as part of the main event for UFC Fight Night 167 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Anderson will fight the #6 ranked light heavyweight contender Jan Blachowicz of Poland. Blachowicz will come in with a record of 25-8. Anderson is the #5 ranked light heavyweight with a record of 14-4.
This won’t be the first time these two men have gone at it. In 2015 they fought and Anderson won a unanimous three-round decision. That was when Anderson’s UFC career was just taking off.
“That was my third fight in UFC against Jan Blachowicz,” Anderson told reporters Thursday during a media day press conference in New Mexico. “Now it’s like it’s going to be a whole different fighter. It’s not going to be a young kid that was athletic with heart. Now it’s a dangerous threat that’s athletic with heart and the tenacity to be the best.”
Anderson is 30 years old now. Blachowicz is 36. Anderson expects Blachowicz to be a different fighter and to have a different mindset from that first fight.
“Preparing for this fight is I’m fighting a whole nother fighter,” said Anderson. “Somebody I’ve never seen. Five years later, that’s half a decade. Things change, so to me it’s a whole new person.”
Both of these fighters have been on a roll. Blachowicz has won six of his last seven fights. Anderson has won his last four fights. In his last fight last November Anderson destroyed Johnny Walker with a first round knockout. The winner of this fight could rightly claim he deserves a title shot against current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Anderson isn’t trying to think about that.
“I’m worried about Saturday right now. I’ve just got to worry about Jan Blachowicz. That’s my championship fight. That’s my title fight. That’s my five-round fight to go out there and showcase my skills and what happens after that happens.”
Make no mistake, Anderson expects good things to happen for him on Saturday. His confidence comes from the people around him whom he has been working with.
“I know what I do. I know what I can do and I know what I’m capable of doing. I know who I train with. I now the people I’m bringing in. I know my coaches most of all. I know my coaches are the best in the world. I don’t have to go out there and worry about doing certain things. I just have to listen to them. If I listen to my coaches that are drawing up the playbook the whole 15 minutes, if I listen to them non-stop it’s going to be a flawless victory and I believe that.”
The fight can be seen on ESPN+ with a subscription. The undercard begins at 7 p.m. CT.