Corey Anderson chose sportsmanship, but he still considers himself a Bellator…

Corey Anderson chose sportsmanship, but he still considers himself a Bellator champion

Corey Anderson believes he is the light heavyweight division’s true champion despite the fact that the light heavyweight grand prix title fight at Bellator 277 ended in a no-contest.

It’s a cliche that timing is everything, and Corey Anderson’s quick decision helped to demonstrate true sportsmanship inside the Bellator cage — even if it cost him a championship and $1 million in the process.

In the third round of his challenge to light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov, the final match in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, Anderson appeared to have a significant advantage.

When the two accidentally collided heads, Anderson claims he informed the referee, who was telling him to keep going, about the unintentional headbutt.

That brutal honesty was brutal in a different way. Anderson did the right thing in terms of honor, but the headbutt rendered Nemkov unable to continue, resulting in a no-contest. This also meant that Nemkov retained the championship, despite the fact that no one claimed the million-dollar prize.

“The good sport in me — I saved him myself,” Anderson said after the fight during his post-fight press conference.

“I felt the blow to the head. And the ref said, “Keep going!” “Don’t stop! ” I headbutted him, “I explained.” That’s why they put a stop to it. If I hadn’t said anything in three seconds, it would have been over and I would have won. “

Corey Anderson thinks he is the real Bellator light heavyweight champion, even though he lost in a no-contest at Bellator 277

After a fairly even first round in which both men took noticeable shots but were unable to get much going in the grappling department, Anderson took control in round two, scoring a takedown early and busting Nemkov open later with some ground-and-pound.

Anderson put pressure on Nemkov in the third round and landed some hard shots, but Nemkov surprised him with a choke attempt. On the other hand, Anderson, on the other hand, was able to escape and regain control of the situation by breaking through Nemkov’s defenses and being aggressive on the offensive front.

Anderson appeared to bump hands with about 10 seconds left in the round as he prepared to give more ground-and-pound. Nemkov was clearly in pain and busted even more. Anderson was seen informing the referee of the unintentional foul.

If the headbutt had not been called, the round would have ended, Nemkov would have been unable to continue, and the fight would have gone to the judges for a technical decision.

According to Bellator PR, the fight was 19-19 on all three judges’ scorecards after two rounds, which means Anderson would have won the championship if at least two judges scored a completed third round in his favor.

However, because Anderson admitted to the unintentional infraction before the round was over, there was insufficient time for a technical decision. As a result, the fight is a no-contest, and Nemkov retains the gold.

“It’s especially upsetting because I broke him,” Anderson said. “You can’t say I wasn’t winning the fight at the time of the clash.”

That’s all there is to it. I went out there and did exactly what was required of me. He can’t stand up to my wrestling or ground-and-pound. I was pacing myself because I knew the fourth round would be the end.

Despite the lackluster conclusion, the next natural step would be to retake the fight. According to Bellator CEO Scott Coker, the fight will take place in the next 3–4 months once both fighters have recovered and completed another training camp.

On the other hand, Anderson is concerned about Coker’s plan’s timeline if what he heard in the medical tent is genuine.

“We’re in the same medical tent,” Anderson explained. “For that one cut, he’ll need plastic surgery.” I think I crushed his orbital on the other cut, so he’ll be out for a while.

I’m very confident he’ll want to drag the fight out as long as he can, possibly until 2023, which I hope isn’t the case. I’d like to get it over with as quickly as possible so I can move on, get this money, and get back to living my life with my family instead of being in training camp for a year.

And Anderson isn’t seeking another bout unless it’s with Nemkov to reclaim the title. Indeed,

“Not unless they turn around and say, ‘OK, you’re the champ,'” says the narrator. “Here’s the belt, here’s the million dollars, let’s get this party started,” Anderson remarked.

“I’m well aware that I’m the champion.” You’re not going to be able to stay anywhere else. I don’t give a damn what the casuals or the media have to say. We witnessed the unintentional headbutt, but you witnessed the 15-minute delay.

“It was a lot tighter in the first round.” But what about the second and third places? You couldn’t possibly tell me you were going to get that for him. “I’m the champion.”

Next: Live results and highlights from Bellator 277: AJ McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2.

Bellator 277: AJ McKee vs. Patricio Pitbull 2 was broadcast live from the SAP Center in San Jose, California on Friday, April 15, 2022. Follow FanSided MMA on Twitter for all the latest news and highlights from the event.