Eryk Anders is a mixed martial artist who competes in the UFC middleweight division. The fighter is former football player for the Calgary Stampeders and won a national title with the Crimson Tide.
Eryk Anders: I everything yeah. Are you trying to training a little bit? You know the nature of things, but still trying to get in. What I can get in is a gym clothes there. For you or man. We just have a comp team. The competition team come in there and train once or twice a day. Okay. So it’s not it’s not that bad at least you’re still getting some training and I’m in uh I’m in Halifax Canada. So, where everything’s locked up, you know you can get fined if you’re at a gym or anything like that and you get $ 4,000 Canadian, but a thousand dollars not yeah yeah, hopefully uh and, however, how are things there with the fight, I mean obviously that fights You’Re supposed to fight next weekend, yeah, so just like myself and probably everybody else in the UFC who I’m just waiting to hear word but really can’t do much until then. So you know what uh I mean. What what would happen if you got a call, you know you’re like 249? Are you good to go? Is that have you considered that like, if they need someone last minute? Is that something you’d be willing to to do yeah? Absolutely you know they know that I’m ready and I stay ready and whatever they call. You know we just talked about a little bit of money and you know I show up yeah, so um yeah. I think a lot of your fights have been short notice. So you’ve, thank you, you you were on a to fight losing streak and you took a fight on a on short notice. Anyway, you took the Thiago Santos fight on short notice. I think that’s kind of like one of the big little things that I admired most about your career. Was you stayed ready? You took fights, you know, I’ve been a fan since lyoto machida fight, which I thought you won by the way so uh yeah. So what I guess you know you’ve you’ve fought all over the world. You fought in Canada, you fought in Brazil twice. How does your training change? If, when you compete in these other countries, it really doesn’t change too much. You know. I’D get out there a little bit earlier because you know sometimes the foreign countries don’t have all the amenities that America has like Epsom salt – and you know things like that. So I have to find another way to cut weight and whatnot. So you know a napkin. You know some white retains some water and fluids and stuff. Whenever I fly so you know I’d traveled it a little bit earlier to get acclimated a little bit and bond everything that I need find that you know final Boyka. So is it something that would impact your decision on whether or not you took a short notice fight, let’s say at 2:49, for example, if they’re like hey man, we got a fight, it’s in Russia. Would that stop you from taking it or man? I would probably still take a fight, but I would ask for like hitch weight or to fight a 205, and if those two things can happen, then I would just you know, hug it out and make weight yeah all right. Well, I mean, I guess, we’ll do a little bit of a throwback here. So uh, you know you, you played football right for the Crimson Tide, so you want to talk about that a little bit and how that can’t, how you naturally transitioned, I guess naturally transitioned into MMA. I see more football players doing it now with guys like Greg Hardy, and I think a lot of people question. You know those football players moving into MMA. What what sort of skills did you learn as a football player that had helped in your MMA career man? You know playing linebacker, you know, I don’t think that that you know really correlates to MMA too much. You know, maybe, if you probably running back or like a skilled position, that requires that a lot of footwork – and you know things like that – I think transition a little bit better. Better, you know Greg Hart is the heavyweight so just being athletic period as a heavyweight. Is a big plus, so you know that works out well for him, but I would say the main thing that football taught me was how to compete. You know, especially when saving got there. It didn’t matter. If you were a true freshman or a fifth year senior. You know you had to earn your spot every week and that’s this kind of the approach that takes to the training room as well. You know going out there competing against. You, know, training, partners and things like that to level up get better and it ultimately put it all. In the KGB trades, he spent some time in the CFL crack with the Calgary Stampeders yeah as a Canadian. How did how’d you like how’d, you, like Canada, big candles, cool man, you know it was more American than I thought you know, maybe not American, but like more English – and I thought you know I didn’t know much about him before then. I thought you know is that 50/50, French and you know people that speak French and English. You know whatever, but you know it’s definitely more, especially on that side I guess the west coast. There was the only way I could tell that I was in Canada with some of the sounds of being French. You know, other than that. You know I just I felt right at home. Yeah be you’ll find that I guess I guess football isn’t as big in Canada, but one thing about especially Calgary fans is passion. Passionate about anybody represents whether people want their team or their country. How was it competing in Canada against a Canadian when you finalized their door? You know people on earth. You know not. One person said a bad thing to me or about me, at least in my face anyways and they’re, pretty nice online afterwards as well. But you know: if you go fight in Brazil, they say you’re gon na die on the way to the cage. You know when I fought the adora. I think we fought on the undercard, so you know man, you lose you go back. There took a shower, got dressed and watch the rest of the fights in the stands with the with my wife and kids, and everybody was just so so nice, I’m overly nice. You know I kind of felt like they were being not fake but like overdoing it a little bit, but I think it’s just a Canadian thing. Yeah I mean I’ve been to a couple cards here as a fan in both in Halifax and Moncton, and you know doesn’t really matter where you’re from. If I see you like – oh my god, like you’re, now my new favorite fighter, I was rooting against Anthony Smith when he Volken news Damir, and i saw him before a fight shook his hand and instantly like anthony smith. Is not my favorite fighter doesn’t matter where he’s from yeah it’s it’s cool! How Canadians have that, whereas places like Brazil complete opposite, you said you’re gon na die on the way to the cage, guys like Matt Brown, flipping everybody off. It’S definitely not wise to do stuff like that down there if they called you and said you’re fighting in Brazil. Is that something you do on a weeks notice or do you need more insecurity? It preps! That’S something I’ve done on a weeks notice when they called me to fight Thiago Santos. I fought him on like five or six days notice down in Brazil, so right there that got off the phone yeah. Okay I’ll! Do it just a few hours later, I was on a flight to Brazil, so yeah I’m definitely I love Brazil. My wife was Brazilian. You know speak a little bit of Portuguese love the culture down there. So you know with the with me or against me. It doesn’t matter man, I enjoy the vibe regardless. If Brazil’s Brazil’s one of my go-to places I got to get there, I got ta go visit. Yeah. I want to see Rio, it’s definitely up there. You mentioned your kids are in the audience. What what? What’S something you’d tell parents of kids who who are hesitant to put them in mixed martial arts? Obviously I I don’t have an MMA background. I do a little bit of jiu-jitsu, but don’t get me wrong. I am far from a cage fighter. What’S uh, what’s something you tell them like to encourage them? You know like this is great fair for kids. I think one of the best things about you Jitsu and boxing and kickboxing and stuff. Is you really learned a lot about yourself and you know once you learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable all right, there’s no, there’s nothing unlikely! It’S gon na happen to you! There’S worse and some are bigger, stronger, faster. You sitting on your chest trying to choke you out. You know. So if you get comfortable in that situation, whatever Life brings that you you’ll be able to handle that situation. I think, with a little bit more my confidence – and you know just you – know, approach life totally different, like some of the kids who come in the gym man, they have zero confidence. You know zero athleticism, you know they’re a mess, but after just a few months of training man, you know they walk a little bit different. Their heads a little bit higher their chest is a little bit. You know poking out a little bit, so you know it’s cool to see that light and that transmission turn on. So I would recommend that everybody, you know, get their kids involved. You know wrestling jujitsu boxing kickboxing, you know these things and the cool thing about those. Those sports are, you, don’t have to like football. You have to beat your head against somebody else’s to get better. This is how you get better at football, but with MMA and boxing and jiu-jitsu and stuff man. You know we can wrestle. I can get better. You know we can flow spar and go to the body and not take as much punishment to the head. There’S just so many more avenues of safe training and then we’ll make your career last a lot longer as well, and there is football football is like you know. Luck is like you know, a large part of it. You know so uh yeah. So your kids, you kids, do any martial arts, er yeah, both my boys. They haven’t competed in my combat sports. I wrestling like like like kickboxing and boxing. They haven’t competed in that, but man they’ve done countless wrestling in jiu-jitsu, tournaments and and they’re just natural competitors. They loved it, you know, I don’t force them to do it. You know they just kind of picked it up on their own and you know, thank God for me I guess yeah. Absolutely. I find the same thing like I’m the swimmer so but my my little brother picked up the competitiveness from me and now he’s playing soccer overseas. So it’s same sort of thing like you know you what you instill in your kids, I guess so it doesn’t really matter the sport whether it be combat football soccer swimming. I think the important thing is that they have something that you know that they they can work towards and they find that they’re passionate about yeah. I agree what so in quarantine, what’s uh, what are you up to what uh? What are you watching? What TV shows would you game in? What’S uh manage? You know the boys really into fortnight, so I’ll sit down and play a couple games with them. Just uh, you know they’re a little more vocal whenever they’re playing, so they talk more. So it’s easier to like have those conversations the parents have with their kids and just talk to them goof off and have a good time. The wife and I just finished Ozark the tiger King highly recommended anybody. Is they over the top craziness like yeah? Somebody told me that story would that’ve been documented. It didn’t seem real man, I didn’t believe it at first. I was like this has to be fake, but that’s crazy. It’S a it’s real people and that they’re actually scrolling through Netflix right now, and I just saw that jeopardy – has all their seasons on here. So I think for the rest of this lockdown. I made you nothing else, but watch jeopardy. There’S no uh, no football and no sports. What uh? What do you support? I’M assuming obviously Crimson Tide, but what is genious important football man? You know college. You know I watched all the SEC teams and I just think it’s the highest caliber of football and the SEC is like the southern team’s Alabama Auburn Tennessee Florida, Georgia LSU, who just won the championship this past year. I just think it’s the highest college, caliber of college football that you can get and then for like the NFL and stuff pro ball. I really just watch. You know the guys who went to Bama to see how they did. If there’s a obviously you I’m just like, I was doing a little bit of research before they call and you wan na you want a national championship there with a Crimson Tide right back and back in 2009. What is that the highlight of your athletic career in general, or is there another thing that stands out whether it be an MMA fight, or I mean fighting in the UFC? Is you know it’s a little bit different like team sports and fighting because I team sports? It’S a season, you know you the rest of the season, you know the rest of the year getting ready for the season. You have teammates, you have to depend on people, people depend on you and things Fighting’s a little bit different. You know, there’s really not a season. People have camps, I train year-round, you know, winning winning a national championship is, is definitely like the pinnacle of college football. That’S what everybody wants to do is win championship and not other stuff. The same goes for finding so, but I think that it’s more rewarding fighting is and then football is for the fact that you know, I guess I’m a pretty selfish person, and you know I like the like the team atmosphere of the training room. You know kinda reminds me of like a locker room in the practice view in terms like the camaraderie and stuff, but when I go out there and compete and in the main, when losers draw. That’S all on me and I think that’s the thing that I, like. The most and it’s probably a little bit more rewarding, you know winning football games. What will stick with you, the division here? What what are your predictions on Adesanya and Costa red? You know, I don’t think that’s a tough one to uh to pick. I don’t think the cost is gon na hold the romero stone he’s, just not capable of fighting like that. You know he’s forward moving, you know, technical, you know power puncher, so you know he’s not gon na be able to just sit sit still so, but you know he kind of moved straight forward. He’S not really an angle cutter, so I think that other side he’s gon na have the advantage because he’s not gon na be there as Pollock Austin, Marcus bowler. I think he’s very elusive he’s got you know long reach. So I think that uh I was talking about get the better of that one. So you’re saying decision, not asagna, he might put him out. I don’t know man Romero didn’t put him out, but he’s never really been tested. You know honest on he’s been tested. All of his last fights, except for that Romero fight, so I think we’ve seen how resilient outside you can be and how he can dig deep and you know pull it out. They’Ll definitely have better cardio. So now I think I will go with the auto Sanya decision or you know where they finished ISM or not. I don’t know you know only time. I saw that what a stupid question, but what’s the prediction for your fight, finish knockout decision just get your hand raised. What’S the what’s the goal there, okay fight! You know, there’s only one thing on my mind and that’s this put hands on people. So you know I have a lot of faith and confidence in myself to go out there and get the job done in that fashion against Rocco. So you know you expect a knockout every time I go out there, but yeah Tim Williams is a great example of the way you fight is there. Is that the fight where, if you’re like, if you’re telling a fan watch one of my fights, is that the one you point out or is there another one that you you point them towards? You know, even though I didn’t end well for me. You know it was fun, you know not too many people were willing to, you know get in the middle trade punches and you know see what happens and it was just fun. You know there was they had everything in the fight grappling wrestling submission attempts. You know, I think, there’s no secret, that we were both gon na take each other’s heads off and man. We just went at it for 15 minutes, so you know to me: that’s my favorite place so far yeah I like the Lyoto one, because I thought it showed you. You know you were undefeated up-and-comer and I thought it was your first big win. Regardless of what you know the scorecard said. I thought you would want it and I thought it really propelled you to a good spot in the division, so that was my favorite one. In terms of legacy, but that fight was was absolutely crazy and the fact you took it on one one weeks notice in the scariest country in the world. I think it tell us a lot about your style of fighting and hopefully we see that whenever it happens so maybe next weekend, maybe two months from now. Who knows when it’s happening, but I wish you all yeah wish you all the best men and thank you for taking the time I’m still new to this. So it’s not your ideal like interview it’s more back and forth, so I appreciate you taking the time and yeah well all the best and I’m rooting for you. Hopefully you get that knock out. I think, keep washing your hands. Man don’t want to get sick. Well, that’s like that’s right all right and then you have