Corey Anderson climbed up on the cage to have a good time. His household was going loopy within the stands. Anderson had grow to be the Bellator mild heavyweight champion, a match champ and the recipient of $1 million.
After which, shortly, all of it got here crashing down final Friday evening at Bellator 277 in San Jose, California.
Anderson instructed ESPN on Monday that he was initially instructed by a number of folks contained in the cage that he had overwhelmed Vadim Nemkov to win the Bellator mild heavyweight title, the Bellator Mild Heavyweight World Grand Prix and the $1 million match prize. However then, Anderson was knowledgeable by referee Frank Trigg that the bout was truly dominated a no contest and Anderson would depart empty-handed.
“I bounce on the cage, I get excited,” Anderson mentioned. “My mother is crying. My household within the crowd is leaping up and down. Rapidly, I bounce down from the cage and also you see the [$1 million] examine strolling down the steps. Rapidly, the ref comes again and tells me there’s [five] seconds left and it’s important to go all the best way to the tip of the third spherical to be declared the winner.”
The ruling got here resulting from an unlawful conflict of heads. Nemkov was lower badly on his left eyebrow, which compelled Trigg to cease the battle. However as an alternative of going to the playing cards — the place Anderson was forward – it was known as a no contest, per the Unified Guidelines of MMA. Trigg stopped the bout at 4:55 of the third spherical. If the battle had gone into the fourth spherical and led to an unintentional foul, it could have gone to a technical choice.
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On this occasion, it wasn’t late sufficient within the battle and the consequence both needed to be a no-contest or disqualification if Trigg had discovered Anderson to have dedicated the foul deliberately. Within the occasion of a technical choice, Anderson would have received as a result of he was forward on the scorecards.
“It was a rollercoaster — you go up and also you come down quick,” Anderson mentioned. “The most important factor for me is maintain my composure and never lose my sportsmanship mentality.”
With the no contest, Nemkov stays the Bellator mild heavyweight champion. The grand prix championship and the $1 million stay up for grabs in a rematch. Anderson mentioned he was instructed that might occur as quickly as Nemkov’s lower heals. Anderson mentioned Bellator officers instructed him that Nemkov didn’t have a damaged orbital bone, simply the wound. The hope is that the rematch might happen earlier than the tip of summer time.
ESPN has Anderson, a UFC veteran who owns a win over UFC 205-pound champ Glover Teixeira, ranked No. 3 on the planet at mild heavyweight. Nemkov is No. 6.
The lower occurred with Anderson in high place, which he had stored for a lot of the third spherical. Anderson went to throw an elbow and on the similar time Nemkov took Anderson’s legs out, inflicting Anderson to come back down onto Nemkov headfirst. Anderson mentioned he was the one who truly alerted Trigg that the Nemkov lower got here from an unintentional head conflict.
Trigg had mentioned in the course of the course of the motion that it was a authorized blow that precipitated the lower, per Anderson. However Anderson corrected him and stopped the bout himself.
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“I do know he would have stored it going,” Anderson mentioned of the referee. “However the sportsman in me was like, ‘Let him know that wasn’t from me — I didn’t hit him, I by accident headbutted him.’ … That was simply me being an excellent particular person.”
Anderson mentioned one in all his teammates despatched him a photograph of him posing with each the Bellator mild heavyweight belt and the grand prix belt from a shoot previous to the battle. A coach, Anderson mentioned, despatched him a screenshot of a Bellator tweet that was deleted that referred to Anderson as the brand new champion. These are the issues conserving him motivated going right into a rematch.
“I obtained these two issues locked on my cellphone,” Anderson mentioned. “I’m simply them each day. The motivation is like that’s what it ought to have been. I want that. I’ve already seen it, I’ve already tasted it, I’ve already felt it. I had that pleasure from being the champ. Now, I’ve to actually really feel it. I understand how it feels to consider you’re the champ. Now, I’ve to go on the market and really be the champ. I want that feeling.”