Eryk ‘Ya Boy’ Anders
Fighting Out Of: Birmingham, Alabama – USA
Key Wins: Rafael Natal, Markus Perez
Last Fight: February 3, 2018 at UFC Belem – Against Lyoto Machida
Next Fight: TBD
Eryk Anders is a former College Football player for the Alabama Crimson Tide and current UFC Middleweight contender. He began his Mixed Martial Arts career in 2012, taking 22 Amateur bouts before starting his professional career in August of 2015. Eryk remained undefeated in his first ten bouts (2-0 in the UFC), including six knockouts and one submission.
Eryk was handed his first professional defeat in February of this year due to an extremely controversial judges decision in his fight against Lyoto Machida. Despite losing the fight, Eryk will continue to be one of the UFC Middleweight division’s most exciting up and comers.
What was the fight or moment in particular that let you know you could fight at a high level?
“I think when I got into this sport I just felt like the sky was the limit. After four or five fights as an amateur, the rate at which I was getting better from fight to fight was just astronomical. So I just felt if I kept at it, kept working hard, stayed diligent in my training and evolved with the sport, I just felt the sky was the limit.”
What is the fight you are most proud of?
“Probably my first one in the UFC. I came in there made a statement, performed well under pressure and knocked him out unconscious. It was a flawless victory and I didn’t get hit. I look forward to having more of those in the future.”
What is the key change you would make if you could do the fight with Machida over again?
“I would pull the trigger. I would hit him way more than I did and not exactly volume wise but instead of smothering my work and clinching and grappling with him. Because every-time I’d hit him with my left hand, I could see his eyes roll back in his head and I think I was pretty close to knocking him out. If I had just stepped back and used my hands more instead of grappling then I think I would have for sure finished him.”
Who is someone that you have trained with, either from football or fighting, that has consistently blown you away or extremely impressed you?
“Pretty much everybody I played college football with. Those guys had everything. They had all the attributes and the work ethic. They were big strong and fast and they worked hard and had a high football IQ. Everyday was a battle”…. “Actually, I have a training partner named Matt Elkins. Every-time we grapple, no matter what I do or how good I feel or what kinda day he is having, he always finds a way to submit me. So I think that he’s got my number.”
Who is someone that inspires you?
“My wife is very inspirational. She’s got a lot on her plate. She is always working hard at several different things, raises the kids, does the majority of the child rearing and never has any excuses as to why she can’t get something done. She always holds herself accountable and she’s always working hard. Every time I feel like slacking off I look at her and get moving.”
What is a book you recommend everyone reads?
“My favourite book that I ever read was called the gates of fire, it’s about the battle of Thermopylae and kinda the movie 300. It talks about Greek history and how they didn’t want to get conquered and they were going to sacrifice everything they had to win and although they didn’t win they gave it their all and went out on their shield.”