In three bouts in 2017, middleweight Eryk Anders has been able to keep the momentum going that he had built up over the course of his first two years in the sport.
With finishes in two of his three wins, Anders remained undefeated, having only gone to decision twice now in his career.
“I feel I’ve performed really well,” Anders told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve gone out there and got finishes, except for that Brandon Allen fight, but he’s an up and comer, so… I made my break into the UFC in devastating fashion. I think 2018 is going to be even better than this.”
For Anders, having previously won a national championship as part of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, being in the kind of spotlight the UFC affords him is not out of the ordinary.
“It’s business as usual,” said Anders. “I’m grateful for my opportunities, thankful for my opportunities, and now that I’m in there I’m looking forward to taking them out one by one and moving my way up.
“I think every fight I show improvement from the fight before that. From the Brandon Allen fight, I fought less than a month later and I think I showed a lot of development in my striking from the outside. That certainly gets better as time goes on, so expect 2018 to be my year.”
Anders (9-0) will look to cap off his year undefeated when he takes on Markus Perez (9-0) in a preliminary 185-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 123 on Saturday in Fresno, Calif.
“I think he’s a tough, agile, guy,” Anders said of Perez. “He’s an athletic guy. He’s light on his feet, moves a lot, and is real slick on the ground. He definitely presents an issue, but I’m definitely confident in my ability to go out there and get the victory.”
Should Anders come out of his December 9 bout healthy, he’s eager to return to action in the early months of 2018, particularly near where he finished his high school years.
“I’d like to fight on that Austin card on February 18,” said Anders. “That’s 90 miles from my home town, so I’m looking to go back to the great state of Texas and perform for them once again.”