The UFC wasted little time in testing Eryk Anders. In his third bout with the promotion, the UFC threw the former LFA middleweight titleholder into the octagon with ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in a main event fight in Brazil. In a closely contested middleweight bout, Anders dropped a split decision to Machida.
Things have not gone Anders’ way since that 2018 contest. Now 12-4, Anders faces Gerald Meerschaert in a 185-pound scrap on the main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 161.
Despite his tough ride over the past year, Anders remains upbeat and confident.
“My confidence is forever unwavering,” Anders told MMA Junkie. “Each fight has a life of its own. The last one has nothing to do with the next one. It does feel good to go out there and get a win and three checks. It’s a good deal.
“I expect to win and put in a lot of work and effort into this. When I go out there and compete, I expect to win. Just go out there and get the results. That’s what you want in the fashion that you want them. I’m happy about it.”
Anders is coming off a “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning knockout of Vinicius Moreira in June. That bout took place at light heavyweight.
Like Anders, Meerschaert started his UFC run hot but cooled down after suffering a loss in his third fight with the promotion. The ex-RFA middleweight champ scored two first-round submissions in his first two UFC outings. He is now 5-3 with the UFC and coming off a technical submission win over Trevin Giles in August. Twenty-one of Meerschaert’s career victories have come by way of submission.
On paper, this is a striker vs. submission artist. The big difference in this bout is experience. Anders has been a pro since 2015 and has a record of 12-4. Meerschaert, a pro since 2007, is 29-11.
UFC Fight Night 161 takes place Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The entire card streams on ESPN+.
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