Derek Anderson explains why his fighting style will be Michael Page’s ‘kryptonite’.

The California native describes how he is tired of Michael Page’s excuses and will make him pay for it at Bellator London.

Derek Anderson will face Michael “Venom” Page in the main event of Bellator London. In the run-up to their anticipated battle on November 23rd, the California native opens up about his opponent’s weaknesses, his career goals after fighting, and why he is the Bellator “BMF”.

Derek Anderson will face Michael “Venom” Page in the main event of Bellator London. In the run-up to their anticipated battle on November 23rd, the California native opens up about his opponent’s weaknesses, his career goals after fighting, and why he is the Bellator “BMF”.

Just like his idol, Georges St-Pierre, a young Anderson was a quiet child who learnt to stand up for himself through combat sport.

His first introduction was through the world of boxing:

“I never did too many sports or anything, so I ended up joining LA boxing and doing some classes there.

“I started kicking everybody’s butts so I figured I’d keep doing it. I met some people through that and the rest is history.”

“Barbaric” made his professional debut in 2011 against Leo Franklin and submitted his opponent in the third round. Since then, he has racked up 16 wins and only three professional losses. He earned his nickname early on his career from his mother who disapproved of the violent sport.

“In my first pro fight, my mom was like ‘I don’t like this sport, it’s barbaric.’

“I was like ‘Barbaric, huh?’ And its rhymes with Derek, it’s perfect.” laughed Derek.

And once Barbaric started “kicking butts,” his family quickly changed their tune and even felt sorry for opponents who had to bear the brunt of Anderson’s strikes.

Known predominantly for his boxing expertise and volume striking, the welterweight feels his ground game has rapidly evolved and looks forward to showcasing it against “MVP”.

“I got my wrestling up a lot. Now I feel like everything is really well-rounded. I’m older, I’m maturing and I feel like everything is all coming together really well,” said Anderson.

“I definitely feel like my boxing and striking is up there with the best of them.

“It will be great to show my skills against Page because he’s supposed to be hot s**t but I’d like to prove that wrong.”

“I think my style is his fighting style’s kryptonite. He’s got terrible hands, he just scares everybody off. He doesn’t throw good punches, he just waits to do a counter knee or something like that. I’m gonna watch out for that, but I’ll come in my head held high.

“I come in there to strike, I ain’t going for his legs. I think my style is going to be a bad match-up for him and I’m excited for it.”

The welterweight showdown has been in the works for some time. Anderson was supposed to face the British fighter in 2017 at Bellator 179.

However, Page pulled out due to a knee injury last minute.

MVP ended up focusing his attention on Paul Daley, but the fellow British fighter fought Rory MacDonald at Bellator 179. However, it didn’t stop Daley and Page getting into an altercation at the event. Anderson was less than impressed with the welterweight’s Bellator 179 antics:

“MVP pulled out of our last fight a week prior because of some bullcr*p knee injury and then went on to smash Paul Daley the next week. I don’t pull out of fights for little cr*p injuries. We’re cage fighters.”

When asked about the UFC 244 ‘BMF’ bout between Diaz and Masvidal, Anderson was confident he would be the front-runner for a Bellator equivalent. He said:

“After I beat up Venom Page, I’m the baddest motherf****r. I don’t care. UFC or Bellator, come over Diaz brothers, let’s get it, cos I’m the baddest motherf****r.”

“If we’re talking just the Bellator roster: that’s what’s cool about Michael Venom Page, he’s not a champ but he’s got a big name and I get to take it.

“I don’t think he’s as bad a motherf****er as he thinks he is, cos I think he’s kind of a p***y.

“I’m going to go into it the same way I always go into it. He’s going to try and play his mind games and he’s going to see they’re not effective and he’s going to be worried about it.”

Once Anderson has achieved his fighting goals (including proving to be the baddest motherf***** in the Bellator game), he has other interests to pursue.

After taking a break from studying psychology at school, Anderson hopes to complete his education and integrate his knowledge into a new career path for the future.

“After my fighting career, I’d probably do sports psychology ‘cos I think a gold belt and PhD would be a pretty good credential.

“With the right mindset, you can achieve things, and with psychology, I can put into words the motivation I feel and pass it on to others.’

His new-found knowledge has emphasised to Anderson that life is too short to have regrets. During his studies, Anderson was involved in a car accident and sidelined his MMA career.

The incident gave him some new perspective on life and his career. He reflects on Mohammed Ali’s battle with Parkinson’s disease and the importance of accomplishing your goals before your health catches up with you

“I think about it, and I don’t care what’s left of me when I’m older. Because there’s nothing more that man [Ali] could have done in his youth to establish a name for himself and live a good life. If you’re having troubles when you’re older, it’s all worth it if you do it right now.”

“If that’s not what matters to people, then they’re not athletes. And that’s why we see athletes have to sacrifice to get what they’ve earned and deserve.”

Watch Anderson put his psychology knowledge and MMA experience to the test against Michael Venom Page at Bellator London on Saturday 23rd November. Stay tuned on for all Bellator news.