Corey Anderson showcased strong conditioning and put on a relentless pace to out work Ilir Latifi over three rounds to earn an impressive decision victory at UFC 232.
Long seen as a top prospect at 205 pounds, Anderson has really started to come into his own during his recent win streak and his latest performance against Latifi will undoubtedly earn him a top five ranking.
It was a battle of technique and combinations versus explosive punches as Anderson was looking to out work his opponent while Latifi was constantly hunting for the knockout.
Latifi started strong as he always does while constantly launching missiles at Anderson’s head with several stiff shots landing.
Anderson did a good job absorbing the damage and then just getting right in Latifi’s face with a slick lead jab and just putting the pressure on the Swede throughout the fight.
The first round was close but as the second got underway it was clear that Latifi had exerted a lot of energy as he was lumbering around the cage with his mouth open just begging for oxygen.
That allowed Anderson to start landing with volume as he consistently peppered away at the head and body to make Latifi work for every breath he took.
Latifi tried desperately to land that big bomb to put the fight away but Anderson avoided the knockout blows and just kept coming at him over all 15 minutes.
As the third round continued, Anderson just kept gaining momentum with every combination he landed while Latifi was looking at the clock to see how much time was left.
While Anderson wasn’t able to put Latifi down or finish him, he out landed the Swedish powerhouse by 2-to-1 in total strikes over the final two rounds to secure his victory.
When it was over, the judges agreed with all three scoring the fight 29-28 in favor of Anderson, who has now won his last three fights in a row.
— UFC (@ufc) December 30, 2018
With a win over a former title contender in Glover Teixeira and now the victory against a top five ranked opponent in Latifi, Anderson is eyeing gold in the near future but he knows he probably needs at least one more win to get there and he already has a name in mind.
“I want Anthony Smith,” Anderson said. “I want a title fight, I know you’re not giving it to me. After my baby’s born, come get this.”
Smith has been on a tear since moving to light heavyweight and Anderson would love nothing more than to take his spot after his latest win in the Octagon on Saturday night.