Eryk Anders planning UFC restart, beginning with toe-to-toe slugfest against Khalil Rountree
ATLANTA – Standing at just 1-3 in his past four fights, Eryk Anders admits some frustration with his recent results but believes he’s taken the steps needed to turn things around.
“I give myself a 24-hour rule,” Anders told MMA Junkie. “Win, lose or draw, after 24 hours, I’m over it, regardless of the outcome. Obviously not the results that I would like, but it’s a competition. Those guys train, too. I think they’re all top-12 in the world; they got there for a reason. So I kind of took it back to the drawing board for this one, kind of started from scratch a little bit, and I’m looking to restart in 2019.”
For Anders, that included a move to Colorado’s increasingly popular Factory X to work with head coach Marc Montoya and a group of impressive training partners that “Ya Boy” says left him “no choice but to elevate your game.”
Despite it being his first camp at the gym, Anders believes you’ll see significant improvement when he steps into the cage, courtesy of Montoya’s instruction.
“I’m a fast learner,” Anders said. “He’s a great coach. He articulates things really well, so I was able to absorb the information and everything from footwork to the combinations and everything that goes into a camp and getting ready for a fight.”
Anders (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) returns to action on the pay-per-view main card of Saturday’s UFC 236 event, when he takes on Khalil Rountree (7-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Prelims air on ESPN and stream on UFC Fight Pass.
“I think this is a great fight,” Anders said. “I think this is a fun fight for the fans. It ends one way, so it’s going to be a banger, for sure.”
The light heavyweight contest marks Anders’ second UFC fight at 205 pounds, though he said he’s still open to taking more fights at middleweight, as well, where he’s competed five times previously in the octagon.
On paper, the matchup certainly seems sure to please, but Anders said a key will be to remain patient during the potentially frantic exchanges.
“I’m always searching for the finish,” Anders said. “I think one of the biggest problems with my game is I’m looking for the finish too much – one or two power shots at a time instead of picking and peppering and choosing my shots to set up the big shot. It’s certainly something I’ve been working on during this camp – try and change things up a little bit.”
Rountree will certainly be looking to end the fight, as well, and Anders is expecting fireworks.
“He’s not going to run around,” Anders said. “I imagine we’re going to stand toe-to-toe and slug it out.”
But Anders isn’t content with just throwing punches and seeing who lands first. Winning isn’t the only thing that matters in MMA, but he’s ready to get things going again in the right direction.
“I put a lot of work into this,” Anders said. “Half my check is on the line, so yeah, of course I’d like to get a win. But he trains, too, so anything can happen with a four-ounce glove.
“Initially, there’s going to be a hell of a storm to weather, but I’m ready for it.”
To hear more from Anders, check out the video above.