Even when an athlete reaches the higher levels of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and earns a Top 5 ranking, they still may have much to prove to the organization, especially if they’re viewed as a talent not fattening the pockets of the promotion. Ahead of his promotional debut in the main event of Bellator 251, light heavyweight Corey Anderson talked to Sherdog about UFC politics and dollars made being the law of the land.
“It’s [about] the people that’s making them money. It’s the ones getting people to talk, like Colby Covington. He’s got Trump people, the MAGA people, they all come to the UFC because of Colby Covington. They’re all huge fans of him so that’s bringing [UFC] money. Anybody that’s putting money in their pockets they’re going to be [quiet about]. They’re not going to say anything. Some of the top elite fighters; when they fight the people don’t really care to see them. Some of the greatest in the world, but the people don’t pay to see us. If [we] say something, [UFC is] going to shut them down and let them know you are not buttering our bread to run your mouth like that. Look at Jon Jones’ whole history. All the trouble he’s been in and he keeps coming back. But then you see somebody else get into something similar, or fail a drug test, and they’re getting released. It’s about who’s buttering the bread. Who’s making their pockets fat. It’s like, ‘what are you bringing to the table for me? So why would I [promote you] then?’ I remember when everything happened with me and Jon Jones. That’s pretty much what they said. It was in the [Performance Institute]. We had to make our schedules to work out. I talked to everybody in the organization, and it came down to in the end I made my schedule ahead of time, why am I getting kicked out of the PI? And the last guy that got on the phone said, ‘I’m sorry Mr. Anderson, but this is Jon Jones,’ and hung up the phone. That’s when it hit me. If you don’t sell tickets, not breaking records, not doing all this stuff that’s going to make them money, you really don’t matter.”
Along with talking about his former home, Anderson also spoke about his decision to take his talents to Bellator MMA and his surprise in being matched up with 44-year-old Melvin Manhoef.