The unforgiving sport of mixed martial arts leads many fighters down an arduous and lonely journey in their endless pursuit to reach the top. Luckily, this road also offers fulfillment and reward from the years of blood, sweat and tears put into one’s work toward their goal.

Despite almost a decade of fights under his belt, Vaughn Anderson has lived in relative secrecy among the mixed martial arts world. However, that is soon to change now that he has emerged as the newest Bellator MMA acquisition. With a 16-1 record as a pro, his high-profile status throughout the Asian MMA fight scene is well-documented. His lengthy resume reveals his potential to mirror those same actions on a big show stateside.

From his humble beginnings of competing for $30 outside a department store, to his monumental triumph at the Pro Fight 6 Grand Prix tournament in 2011, the love of the process for growing as a fighter has been the key factor through the highs and lows which have gotten Anderson to where he is today. Eventually his track record would receive massive attention from major promotions like Bellator, and the promotion sought to add to him its roster, which coincidentally has been a dream for the longtime fight veteran.

Anderson (Facebook)

“For athletes, hard work and some luck is always part of any success story,” Anderson told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I’ve wanted to fight in Bellator for a long time, but when I finally connected with the show and was offered a place in the tournament, I jumped out of my chair. It was the same feeling I got the morning the call to fight in K-1’s Asian Heavyweight Grand Prix came in.”

Adapting to change is nothing new for the Filipino-born Anderson. He has found himself dealing with a diversity of scenarios going into a fight on many occasions throughout his career. Looking to prove his worth as a participant in the upcoming Bellator welterweight tournament, Anderson gladly accepts this new challenge as he looks to not only win the tournament, but also to showcase his skills against the best in the world.

“This is a new challenge for me. Different style of fighters, different crowds, different procedures. I couldn’t believe how many papers I need to show customs,” he said. “I am looking forward to fighting in the States finally. It’s the mecca for MMA right now, and I’ve worked hard to get here. I have high expectations for sure. I expect this year to be the best year of my life.”

Thrown into the mix with seven well-matched contenders, this overseas sensation has many fight fans on edge of their seats waiting to see what he brings to the table in his Bellator debut. However, as always, there are also individuals that have a different opinion, especially when it comes to mysterious newcomers entering into the fray of an already stacked competition.

Anderson (R) (Kenneth Lim/Legend FC)

One individual who doesn’t seem too impressed with the hype surrounding this figure is Anderson’s quarterfinals opponent, the always tough and controversial War Machine (also known as Jon Koppenhaver).

With the verbal warfare already underway in the media, War Machine’s persona and well-known fight record here in the United States looks to be the determining factor in his assurance of victory going into this fight. Unfazed by his foe’s mind games and the opinions of naysayers, Anderson has other plans in mind for his overconfident opponent when the two clash at the Grand Canyon University Arena on Sept. 20.

“I have focused so far entirely on War Machine and his weaknesses,” Anderson said. “I can’t yet say much about the others in this season’s tournament. As for War, he is a great first match-up for me. In Asia, no one gives me a chance to play my jits game, where I am strongest. But War has no choice; he can’t strike to save his life, so better he gets armbarred than dummied on the feet. Watch me submit this guy Sept. 20.”

Photo: Vaughn Anderson (L) delivers a left hand (Facebook)

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.

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