Given his history of short notice fights at both 185 and 205 pounds, Eryk Anders may be the UFC fighter best equipped for competing in the new normal brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I get in where I fit in,” said Anders. “Middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight. It doesn't matter to me.”
So, when the call comes, from 185 pounds up, expect Anders to answer. That means he’s not focusing on a concerted title run anywhere at the moment.
“One day I'll get wise, but until then, it's anybody, anywhere, anytime, any weight.”
The Alabama product started this trend with his first UFC fight against Rafael Natal in the summer of 2017 and he hasn’t strayed from it yet, with six bouts at middleweight and three at light heavyweight. On Saturday, he fights at 185 for the second consecutive time against Poland’s Krzysztof Jotko.
“He's athletic, explosive, and he'll have the speed advantage,” said Anders of his foe. “I believe he'll try to wrestle a lot, but he also likes the spinning stuff, so he's very unorthodox. It should be a fun one.”
Entering his 18th pro fight, you get the impression that Anders is having fun doing this. It’s why through all the craziness of the last couple months, he’s kept training and kept focused.
“We really haven't taken any time off,” said Anders, who will be fighting on the same card as his buddy and teammate Walt Harris. “They've been speculating about me and Walt fighting for a while, so the fight team has been working.”
So no thoughts of taking the foot off the gas while he waited for a concrete date and location?
“I only worry about the things that I can control,” Anders said. “I can't control what the government's doing, what corona's doing or nothing. They tell me May, then it's May. They tell me to stay ready because the ball's gonna get rolling and it's not gonna stop.”
That’s music to the ears of the 33-year-old, who got rolling again in his own right last year when he snapped a three-fight losing streak with back-to-back wins over Vinicius Moreira and Gerald Meerschaert. But whether sporting a hot streak or a cold spell, nothing changes in the mind of “Ya Boi.”
“At the end of the day, the goal is to go out there and get a win,” he said. “I got a game plan, he's got a game plan, so we'll see who can implement theirs first.”
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