After becoming Bellator Light Heavyweight champ, what’s next for Corey Anderson?

Bellator Belfast Corey Anderson
Official image provided by the PFL

This past weekend we saw the first Bellator Champions Series event in Belfast and the vacant light heavyweight title was on the line in the main event. Corey Anderson (18-6) was looking to finally become a world champion as he took on Ireland’s Karl Moore (12-3).

It was very clear to see the game plan from the opening bell. Anderson wanted to use his wrestling to get the fight to the ground and really impose his will there. However, Moore defended much better than I thought he would and throughout, he did a great job getting back to his feet.

When they were on the feet, Moore did a good job of landing solid shots. However, it just wasn’t enough as the fight went on. Corey Anderson kept getting takedowns and had significant control time. There was one dicey situation where Moore had a deep arm bar, but Anderson powered through. After the final bell, there was little mystery here and the judges agreed. Corey Anderson won a unanimous decision and was crowned Bellator light heavyweight champion.

What’s next after Bellator Belfast?

Now that Corey Anderson has become champion, the big question is, what’s next? This is a little tricky and it’s really not clear what’s going to be next for the new champion. Phil Davis is a top contender at 205 but he’s moved over to the PFL season format for the regular season.

2023 champ Impa Kasanganay, 2022 champ Rob Wilkinson, and 2021 champ Antonio Carlos Junior are also competing on the season format this year. The Bellator light heavyweight roster is a little depleted at the moment with Vadim Nemkov moving to heavyweight after vacating the title.

So, who does get the next shot? If you’re asking me, my money would be on Yoel Romero. I know that’s going to raise a lot of eyebrows but Romero and Anderson haven’t fought yet. Romero just defeated Thiago Santos at the PFL – Bellator Champs event and he’s not competing in the season. It seems like it’s falling into place that Romero is going to get another shot at becoming a world champion.

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