Eryk Anders plans to use Lyoto Machida as a platform to legitimize his name when they collide in the main event of UFC Fight Night 125.
Anders (10-0), who recently scored a unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten Markus Perez at UFC Fight Night 123 in December, now believes that he is in ‘control of his destiny’. Speaking to Ben Armendariz from Canvas Conversations, Anders discussed the significance of his upcoming matchup with the former UFC light heavyweight champion.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″] I feel like I’m in control of my destiny. If I go out here and get a victory over Lyoto, it would put some legitimacy to my name. I’d have beaten a former champ, although he is certainly not in his prime anymore. You know, I’d certainly have beaten the name and like I said, it will put some legitimacy to my name.[/perfectpullquote]
While “Ya Boi” might believe that he isn’t getting the respect that he deserves, he is quick to acknowledge that it’s partly due to his sudden appearance and rise through the middleweight division.
Undefeated after ten fights as a professional, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Anders is still very early in his mixed martial arts career.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″] I’ve only been a pro for two years, so I think that the level of growth that I’ve shown and demonstrated over the course of my MMA career is not typical or the norm. I’m continuing to grow at an exponential rate.[/perfectpullquote]
“Ya Boi” believes that his opposition are bewildered at the improvements he shows every time he re-enters the cage.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″] These guys, they watch my film from the last fight or the previous fight and they think they have it all figured out, but once they get in there with me there’s a whole new wrinkle and different techniques and strategy. They soon realize that I can get it done anywhere. They just get confused and they don’t know what to do. That, and the pressure that I bring makes them fold. [/perfectpullquote]
Working with “Wonderboy”
Anders explained that he has changed up his training regime to help prepare for “The Dragon” at UFC Fight Night 125. One of the changes, in particular, is that he has been working closely with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who Anders believes has a relatively close style to that of his upcoming opponent.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]I’ve been going to South Carolina to get some training with him [Stephen Thompson]. I think he is a younger and more explosive, different, but similar, style to Lyoto Machida. He’s much more technically savvy, I think.[/perfectpullquote]
“Ya Boi” extended on the idea of training with Thompson and details that he now believes that nothing from Lyoto Machida will surprise him.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″] I’ve been exposed to the speed and the technique, now once I see it in the cage it won’t be the first time that I’ve seen it. I think it definitely helped me out. [/perfectpullquote]
Eryk Anders will battle Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC Fight Night 125 in Belém, Brazil. You can watch the full interview with Ben Armendariz from Canvas Conversations below.
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.