Corey Anderson took advantage of his late-notice fight with Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 134 on Sunday in Hamburg, Germany, taking a decisive nod over the former title challenger.
Teixeira opened strong, showing crisper technique in his boxing, while defending Anderson’s early takedown attempts. Anderson was relentless, however, and eventually began scoring takedown after takedown and, late in the round, started to land with his jab and scored with a big overhand right. Teixeira caught Anderson in a guillotine choke in the waning moments of the opening frame, but time ran down before he could try and finish the fight with it.
Anderson only gained momentum as the fight wore on, getting more comfortable in his striking, and continuing to take Teixeira to the mat. He wasn’t very successful in keeping the fight on the floor, as Teixeira was very good at constantly returning the fight to standing, but Anderson was relentless.
Though Teixeira landed one of his patented uppercuts midway through the second stanza, Anderson returned fire and wobbled the Brazilian with a right hand. That moment really set the tone for the remainder of the fight. From that point on, Anderson seemed not to worry much about Teixeira’s powerful striking and used his own jab to set up several more takedowns.
Teixeira didn’t relent, but his gas tank faded in the final frame. Anderson put him on the canvas where he landed some solid punches and forearms, but couldn’t find the finish, instead having to continue his takedown attack until the final horn.
The strategy panned out for Anderson, as all three judges saw the fight in his favor and awarded him the unanimous decision.
Following the victory over Teixeira, Anderson said he would fight whomever would put him on the fast track to the UFC light heavyweight title.
“I want whoever,” he said. “I want whatever fight I can get to get to the title as soon as possible.”
The one fight that he doesn’t want, however, is the one fight that would probably earn him an immediate title shot, and that’s Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. While that would be another tremendous opportunity, as officials are searching for a new opponent for Gustafsson after Volkan Oezdemir withdrew because of injury, that’s a bridge too far for Anderson right now.
“As much as I want to say yes (to a fight with Gustafsson), I’m not going to put my wife through that right now,” said Anderson.
Regardless of what’s next, taking out the UFC’s third-ranked light heavyweight is already a tremendous achievement for Anderson, who now has back-to-back victories to bounce back from a two-fight skid.