Corey Anderson’s had a tough time processing the result of his last outing.

Despite not being a stranger to adversity and defeat in the MMA game, Anderson’s (17-6 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) loss to Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 288 this past November hurt like none other. The light heavyweight contender will get a chance to relieve that pain this Friday on the main card of Bellator 297 in Chicago, as he takes on fellow veteran Phil Davis (24-6 MMA, 11-3 BMMA).

“I expect so much from myself no matter what,” Anderson told MMA Junkie Radio looking back at the defeat against Nemkov. “I don’t like shortcomings. Every time I lose, I take it like a grain of salt and wear it on my face like it didn’t bother me, but every loss, every mistake I make, it eats me up, and that last one was the worst.”

Yes, the loss to Nemkov was Anderson’s first title fight. There was also a $1 million prize on the line, as it was the final of the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix. But what stung the most, was that it was Anderson’s first clear decision defeat – and that didn’t sit well with him.

“I can handle a finish,” Anderson said. “I don’t want to, but it’s more like, ‘I got caught. If I can avoid and keep my right hand up, I won’t get knocked out. Or if I get caught in a submission, I can get my arm back.’ There’s something you can learn from a submission, when you get caught, when you get knocked out.

“As for losing a decision, other than that Shogun fight where everyone said I won, my main thing is I’ll never be outworked. No one will ever outwork me. You see me at the gym and nobody can keep up with my pace, and that was in my head going into the fight. The way I lost, the fact that I lost by decision. I was watching it and studying film like, ‘How did I get outworked? What did I do wrong?.’”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 297.

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