Tonight at Bellator 251, Corey Anderson (14-5) made his debut with the promotion. He took on famed striker Melvin Manhoef (32-15-1, 2 NC) in the main event. The fight was a good way for Anderson to get his feet wet with Bellator.
When the matchup was booked by Bellator, many knew how Anderson would have to win the fight. Anderson is a strong wrestler while Manhoef is known for his world class striking. Anderson was going to need to go back to his routes to win this one.
The last we saw Corey Anderson in a cage, he was knocked out by current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz. Anderson admittedly said that he had fallen in love with striking, but he can’t get away from his wrestling base.
Tonight, he went back to what he did best. In the main event of Bellator 251, it was all Corey Anderson. Anderson shot in immediately in the first round and took Manhoef down. Manhoef didn’t have any answers for Anderson’s wrestling attack all night.
After spending the majority of the first round on top, Anderson struck a little in the second. However, it was all just to keep Manhoef guessing. Anderson took Manhoef down in the second and with a brutal flurry of elbows finished the fight.
Those elbows ?
A definitive TKO debut for @CoreyA_MMA at #Bellator251. pic.twitter.com/vm5xB7n9XN
— Bellator Europe (@Bellator_Europe) November 6, 2020
What’s next after Bellator 251
Tonight was the perfect Bellator debut for Corey Anderson. The matchmakers did a really good job of giving Anderson an opponent that could really showcase what he does best. Anderson delivered to the max with his performance tonight.
After this, there are no questions about what should be next for Anderson. Corey Anderson should be challenging for the Bellator light heavyweight championship. Now, there’s no guarantee that Anderson will get the next shot.
Phil Davis is also deserving of the next shot at the Bellator light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov. Bellator’s light heavyweight division is looking pretty good with those three at the top of the division.
If I had to guess, I think that Nemkov will likely defend his title against Phil Davis. However, Anderson will be the first in line for the winner of that fight. Anderson called out both of them after his successful Bellator debut.