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PHOENIX – Corey Anderson punched his ticket to the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix final.
The Bellator light heavyweight contender ran through Ryan Bader in the semifinal of the tournament, which served as the co-main event of Saturday’s Bellator 268 at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The main card aired on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Anderson (16-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) defeated Bader (28-6 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) via first-round TKO, needing just 50 seconds to dispatch him. Anderson is set to take on the winner of Vadim Nemkov vs. Julius Anglickas, which goes down on the main event of the card.
It was a quick and vicious performance by Anderson.
“Overtime” quickly put the pressure on Bader, as soon as the bell rang and didn’t let his foot off the gas. In an early exchange, Anderson dropped Bader with a right hand and then followed up with a non-stop pour of strikes on the ground. Bader did his best to scramble out of danger, but Anderson eventually overwhelmed Bader and forced the referee to call off the fight.
👊💥What a W for @CoreyA_MMA!
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 17, 2021
Anderson had defeated Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov to advance to the semifinals of the grand prix after his debut in Bellator in late 2020, a TKO win over veteran Melvin Manhoef. Anderson is 7-1 in his past 8 performances. His only defeat during that run is to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.
Meanwhile, Bader entered Bellator 268 coming off a decision win over Lyoto Machida in the quarterfinals back in August 2020. Prior to that, he had suffered a TKO defeat to Vadim Nemkov where he lost his Bellator light heavyweight belt. Bader has now suffered two defeats since joining Bellator in 2017.
Corey Anderson def. Ryan Bader via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:51
Henry Corrales def. Vladyslav Parubchenko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Karl Albrektsson def. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mukhamed Berkhamov def. Jaleel Willis via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:05
Nick Browne def. Bobby Lee via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:38
Javier Torres def. Gregory Milliard via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Sumiko Inaba def. Randi Field via submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:02
Lance Gibson Jr. def. Raymond Pina via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:44
Sullivan Cauley def. Deon Clash via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:59