Eryk Anders is making a name for himself in the MMA world, but before he did that, he was best known for his time as an Alabama Crimson Tide football player. Anders was part of the 2009 National Championship team and had the game sealing sack that forced a fumble, which was recovered by the Crimson Tide. Anders talked about his time as a member of the Tide.

“At Alabama, my last season, we won the national championship,” Anders told The MMA Corner. “We played Texas and it was a surreal experience. Only 1% of high school football players get a division one scholarship. The next goal was the NFL, which did not work out, but I had a great time at Alabama. The fans were awesome and there is no bigger playing field. There is no better atmosphere. Everything at Alabama is ‘A1’ and it was a great experience.”

It was definitely a great experience for Anders as he played for arguably one of the greatest college football teams college football has ever seen. The 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide will be up for argument on the fact that they are the best team ever, but one other argument could be that the coach, Nick Saban, is also the best. Anders talked about what it was like to play for one of the greatest coaches of all-time, Nick Saban.

“First thing about Nick Saban is, it really depends on the time of the day you catch him,” Anders said. “If you catch Coach Saban before meetings start, he is one of the fellas. He is cracking jokes making fun of people. He is taking jokes, but at 2 o’clock, when meetings start, he is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He changes, you know, his body language and his persona. You really can’t argue with his results. He demands the most out of his players and they get the most out of him. You’ll have a hard time finding anybody who pays more attention to detail than Coach Saban.”

Coach Saban is definitely someone who you could learn something from. For someone who pays so much attention to detail, you can understand why his players do so well. For Anders, not only did he do well playing football, but he took that attention to detail away from Saban and has applied it to his MMA career, compiling a 17-3-1 amateur record. Anders talked about the attention to detail he took away from his college football coach.

“Coach Saban definitely helped me for my fighting career,” said Anders. “He always, always, preached about attention to detail. He preached about doing stuff right the first time. So whenever I am learning a new technique, you know that my coach Chris Conolley shows me, I try to be as detail oriented as possible. I do not want to gain in one area and lack in another. I do my best to improve everything and not just one particular thing. I find myself to be very detailed oriented and I am always looking to get better.”

Anders has had a very successful amateur career and has made the decision to turn professional. Anders can use his attention to detail as he prepares for his professional debut on August 22. Anders talked about the decision to turn pro.

“I am managed by [UFC veteran] Charles McCarthy, who is very good friends with my coach Chris Conolley, so you know, I am in the best situation possible,” said Anders. “My coach and my manager have a great relationship so they trust each other on what they say about me. Chris felt comfortable about me going pro, he told Charles, and Charles watched the film from my last fights. Charles felt the same thing and they got together and felt it was time for me to go pro. What better place to have your pro debut than being a former Alabama football player and fighting in Tuscaloosa, home of the Crimson Tide, as your first professional bout? The stars aligned perfectly for me to take this fight. I am really looking forward to putting my skills to the test.”

Anders is right, there is not better place to have his professional debut than in Tuscaloosa, where he is most famous for his play in the national championship and time as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Anders talked about how good it is going to feel to fight where he played his college football.

“It is awesome,” Anders said with excitement. “I could not have planned it any better. The fans here [in Tuscaloosa] are great. I have not played football for Alabama in about five years and they hear my name and instantly remember the plays I made in the past. It is awesome to have a fan base like that. To go back to the home where the fan base is located is quite the honor. I am looking forward to getting in there and putting on a show for the Alabama fans. I fought one time here as an amateur and lost, but I do not think history will repeat itself on the twenty-second.”

Anders will try to make sure that history does not repeat itself in, Tuscaloosa, at Strikehard Productions 40, on August 22 in his professional debut.

About The Author

Jeremy Klump
Interview Coordinator / Video Manager

Jeremy Klump is a Sport Media major at Ithaca College and has been writing about Mixed Martial Arts for over a year now. He interned at MVC Sports Management and AMA Fight Club. While interning at MVC and AMA, Jeremy found out that he had a true passion for writing about Mixed Martial Arts. He has interviewed and wrote articles on top UFC fighters while also having knowledge of regional fighters and the top new comers. He looks to grow as a writer and expand his knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts while being a proud member of The MMA Corner team.