2016 wasn’t quite the year that Bellator lightweight Derek Anderson had hoped it would be.
Coming off a win over Patricky “Pitbull” Freire to close out 2015, Anderson was looking to have an eventful following year, but injuries to both him and opponents made it so he only had one bout in 2015.
“It would have been nice to have more fights in there,” Anderson told MMAWeekly.com. “I didn’t fight enough. I’m healthy this year. I’m ready to fight and make a statement and get a belt.”
Anderson was able to pick up a unanimous decision win over Saad Awad at Bellator 160 in August, and though he only had the one fight, he feels it still contributed to his improvement as a fighter.
“Once I sign that paper, I’m a dedicated individual, and I believe you get the fight, you train for the fight and you win the fight,” said Anderson. “You come back to training after that and feel like a new animal, every time.
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“I think I could have maybe put together some more punches together and gotten the finish, but Saad’s a tough dude, we had a good time out there fighting. A three-round decision – as long as I win – is good for me.”
Anderson (14-2) will kick off his 2017 on Saturday in Inglewood, Calif., when he takes on Derek Campos (17-6) in a main card 155-pound bout at Bellator 170.
“Whatever I want to do, it’s my fight,” Anderson said. “I always to strike, and (Campos has) got some holes there I feel I can capitalize on.
“It’s a good one for me. He’s a tough guy, and not to take any credit for him, but I’m staying right here at lightweight now to get that belt.”
As Anderson has stated, his goal for 2017 is simple: go after Michael Chandler’s lightweight title.
“Hopefully I can get my title shot,” said Anderson. “There’s no other lightweight that deserves it more than me.
“If somebody wants a shot, they’ve got to come through me. I’ll fight anybody at any time. I’m a fighter – this is what I do – and I get better the more I fight, so let’s go.”
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