Tony Reid – I wanted to ask you about an interesting quote. You said you have a long way to go but a short time to get there. Can you elaborate on your mindset in this crazy game right now?
Corey Anderson – “When I was growing up, I met Matt Hughes in college. I thought he was it for a long time. He did very well for a long, long time. Then my best friend is Frankie Perez and he was in the UFC for two fights and then he retired. I have seen people come and go and I have seen people hang around for a long time. I have seen people get in the game and at 26 they retire and get out young. My mother hates the sport. She supports it but she doesn’t like what it does to the body. She told me, she made me promise to not to stay in there long. At any time one wrong punch can end my career early. If I’m slacking and taking time off someone is working. Someone is passing me up. They have that advantage. I don’t have time to take a vacation. Most fighters go on vacation for two weeks after a fight, they take their girlfriend, or their wife and kids. When I get back from camp I unpack my stuff and pack my bag for the gym the next day and I am back in the gym the next morning. I know where my focus is. I know what I want. I want that strap around my waist more than I want anything else. That’s the focus right now.”
Tony Reid – It’s always an interesting weigh in when Tom Lawlor is involved. When you fought him he came out as a version of Conor McGregor. What were you thinking when you saw that?
Corey Anderson – “When he came out and did his thing I thought nothing of it. He’s known for his entertainment. I like to tell people what he eat don’t make me poop. What he does doesn’t affect me. That’s his thing. The crowd loves it. It doesn’t do anything to me. It doesn’t get in my head. It doesn’t make me laugh or chuckle. What’s that got to do with me? I’m focused on Corey. My mindset is on Corey.”
Tony Reid – Speaking of McGregor what was the atmosphere like fighting on a card that featured The Notorious one?
Corey Anderson – “We got hassled by the UFC security and stuff so much. Going to the weigh ins Friday we got off the bus and they had metal detectors there set up to the garage we used to walk through. We were waiting in lines to go through the metal detectors. They wanted to make sure nobody had any guns or weapons or anything dangerous in our bags. Are you serious? I have never seen anything like that in a fight. Saturday I moved from where we were staying to the MGM so I could get a workout in the cage with my coaches in the morning. Trying to get down there for the fight I was at the gate with my coaches. They wouldn’t even let me down there! I am fighting! I have a wristband that says “fighter and camp” my coach has a wristband we have a bag full of gear. What did they think we were going to do? Sit in the crowd and beat each other up? We are fighting! I need to get into the locker room. They still wouldn’t let me down there. I finally saw someone with a blue UFC shirt on and called them over. They asked what was wrong and I said they wouldn’t let me down. Then I got down but they didn’t let my coaches down for another 30 minutes. It was crazy. My coach Mark Henry who has been in the game for over a decade said he had never seen anything like it to get into a fight. Usually you walk in and they just let you through. They searched our bags. They checked our water. Its water! What are you talking about?”
Tony Reid – You are such a gifted and talented athlete and fighter. You could be a star and title contender in the near future. You said that when training and improving you aren’t doing it for your next fight you are doing it to eventually beat a guy like Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier. What are your short term and long term goals in the sport?
Corey Anderson – “My short term goal is to be in line for a title fight. Get the right wins and have a title fight lined up. I think that would be accomplishing the short term goal. Get in the top five and get a title shot. Long term goal is to get the belt, constantly improve day in and day out and hold the belt until I get out of the game.”
Tony Reid – How cool was it to see yourself on the EA Sports UFC game? Where you happy with your rating?
Corey Anderson – “The picture was pretty cool. I got out of practice and I got in this group chat with my wrestling coach and his friends. I get this picture of me with this huge head. I was like who is the guy with the huge head? Then in the background I saw the UFC logo. I was like Oh, snap! I was in a video game! I thought back to my sophomore or junior year of college. That was the last time I bought at UFC game. It was UFC Undisputed or Undisputed 2. I didn’t even fight at the time. I didn’t even have the goal of fighting. I told my buddy that I wasn’t going to buy another game until I was in it. He was like “Yeah, right.” To this day I have the same old UFC game. I hit my boy up was like remember the time I told you I wouldn’t buy another UFC game until I was in it? Then I sent him the screen shot of me in it. I preordered it. That was pretty cool. If everything works out I will be playing the game as myself.”
Tony Reid – As a fan of the sport who are your favorite fighters to watch and why?
Corey Anderson – “Frankie Edgar. Edson Barboza. I am training with some of the best. Liam McGeary, I love his style. He is really long. These are guys I get to work with daily. Guys from other places and other teams, guys on the outside like Stephen Thompson, I love his karate style. It just so happens that the day after he beat Hendricks he is working with a college teammate of mine and he showed up at my house the day after the fight. Thompson said he was in town and asked if he could come train with me. He was showing me his style and everything. I have been working that little karate style. I like that style. Anybody that’s moving. I like Holly Holm. It didn’t work out for her this time around but when she’s moving it’s incredible. I am fascinated by that. When I wrestled I wrestled heavyweight but I studied film of 125 and 133 pound wrestlers. If I can move fast like then there is no way another heavyweight can keep up with me. That’s how I think now at 205. If I can move like Frankie Edgar at 135, there is no way any 205 pounder can keep a pace up with me. If I am training all day long at that pace my cardio will be amazing. It’s going to be hard to find anybody to resemble me. I watch Daniel Cormier to see what I need to look out for but I pick up my technique from the little guys.”