Eryk Anders, the former University of Alabama linebacker and current UFC fighter, has a Saturday night fight that is clearly a career crossroads.
Anders (11-4) will face Venicius Moreira (9-2) in UFC Minneapolis, looking to snap a three-fight losing streak and re-establish himself as a potential contender.
The fight will air on ESPN as part of the UFC Minneapolis undercard with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. CT. The main card will feature a heavyweight fight between Francis Ngannou vs. Junior Dos Santos and starts at 8 p.m., also on ESPN.
Anders is especially seeking to put his most recent loss, a unanimous decision at the hands of Khalil Roundtree at UFC 236 in Atlanta on April 13. Anders was knocked down several times in that fight although he gamely fought until the end.
“I think (Roundtree) fought his best fight and I fought my worst fight,” Anders said to the website MMAJunkie.com. “I didn’t think I would be fighting again so soon, but I’m happy to take what they give me.”
Anders, who played on Alabama’s 2009 national championship team, weighed in at 205 pounds on Friday. Moreira weighed in at 206.
“I show up and I put on exciting fights, which I think is why I’m still around on my three-fight skid,” Anders said Thursday in an interview with UFC.com. “It’s not the best record, but I think the way that I fight, two main events and two performance bonuses in seven fights is a lot more than a lot of guys see. I may be upside down in my record but, at the same time, the quality of fights is there and it’s not like I’m losing to slouches. I don’t want to be that guy who picks and chooses his opponents and says no. Part of the reason I’m still around after those three fights is because I say yes. ‘Hey, you want to fight Thiago on six days’ notice? OK, let’s do it.’ There’s never any hesitation, I really enjoy what I do. I love fighting and I’m getting better every day.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.