Rivalries in the Career of Eryk Anders

Eryk Anders has been in the UFC game for nearly seven years. That’s a lifetime in the octagon, folks. He’s the embodiment of what it means to be a fighter, win or lose. Now, as he gears up for UFC 289 against Marc-Andre Barriault, Anders hints at hanging up his gloves after five more fights.

At 36, priorities shift. For Anders, the chase for belts and rankings has taken a back seat to family time. It’s a perspective he’s earned, especially after his days playing football for the University of Alabama. Yet, he’s not bowing out quietly. Anders is determined to leave a lasting legacy in his final fights, one of which is against Jamie Pickett at UFC Fight Night 238 in Las Vegas.

Let’s take a detour and talk rivalries, shall we? Brendan Allen, for instance. Currently ranked No. 6 in the middleweight division, Allen’s on a hot streak. But rewind to June 23, 2017. That’s when he and Anders clashed for the LFA middleweight title. Anders emerged victorious after five grueling rounds, snagging the belt by unanimous decision. Not long after, the UFC came calling.

Anders’ UFC debut? A memorable one against Rafael Natal at UFC on Fox 25. Just picture it: Anders, one round in, lands two crisp lefts, sending Natal crashing into the fence. A flurry of strikes later, and Anders is declared the winner by knockout, just 2:54 into the first round. Talk about making an entrance.

Then there’s the bout with Vinicius Moreira. Coming off three consecutive losses, Anders needed a win. Moreira tried to take it to the ground, but Anders wasn’t having it. A powerful left hand from Anders sent Moreira reeling, and a series of punches later, the fight was called. Anders walked away with not just a win, but a “Performance of the Night” bonus to boot.

Most recently, Anders faced Kyle Daukaus in December 2022. It had been a rocky road for Anders, with a mix of losses, a no contest, and wins. But against Daukaus, Anders found his rhythm again, dropping Daukaus with his left and finishing the fight with decisive hammerfists in the second round. It was his first finish in over three years, reminding everyone of the power he brings to the octagon.

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