Two months after making headlines for leaving his UFC contract with fights remaining in order to sign with Bellator MMA, light heavyweight Corey Anderson is set for his promotional debut.
Anderson (13-5) will square off with hard-hitting veteran Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1, 2 NC) on Thursday, Nov. 5 in a featured 205-pound fight airing on CBS Sports Network. The card is expected to emanate from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, where Bellator has made a home for domestic fights in 2020 during the pandemic.
Bellator MMA president Scott Coker broke the news Tuesday during an appearance on CBS Sports HQ.
"We just signed a big free agent in Corey Anderson and he's going to be fighting one of my favorite fighters of all-time, Melvin Manhoef," Coker said. "It's going to be a fun fight."
The 31-year-old Anderson brought a four-fight win streak into his February bout against current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz before losing via first-round knockout. Later that month, Anderson collapsed and suffered a health scare which temporarily put his fighting future in jeopardy.
Although he was eventually given a clean bill of health, the fallout led to Anderson and UFC coming to terms on his release, which quickly became Bellator's gain by adding him to an already deep light heavyweight division topped by rising star Vadim Nemkov.
Manhoef has a decorated history throughout a lengthy career in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts for either delivering or being on the business end of a highlight-reel knockout. The 44-year-old native of Suriname enters the fight on a two-bout winning streak and is 4-3 (1 NC) since joining Bellator MMA in 2014.