Anderson stops Bader in 51 seconds, advances to Bellator grand prix final

Josh Hedges / UFC / Getty

Corey Anderson punched his ticket to the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Final with an emphatic finish of Ryan Bader.

Anderson defeated Bader via TKO at the 0:51 mark of the Bellator 268 co-main event Saturday night in Phoenix.

With the semifinal victory, Anderson is set to face the winner of the main event between 205-pound champion Vadim Nemkov and Julius Anglickas for the title and $1-million grand prize.

Anderson dropped Bader with a right hand behind the ear 33 seconds into the fight and unleashed his patented ground-and-pound. Bader tried to get out of danger by moving around on the canvas, but he eventually turned to his stomach and covered up, forcing referee Jason Herzog to wave off the bout.

Anderson is 3-0 since leaving the UFC and signing with Bellator last year. He has scored stoppage wins over Melvin Manhoef, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the quarterfinals, and now Bader. He's now 7-1 in his past eight outings.

The 32-year-old is notably 1-1 with UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, whom he beat in 2015 and lost to in 2020.

Bader, a former Bellator light heavyweight champion and current heavyweight champion, beat Lyoto Machida in April to advance to the semifinals. He lost the 205-pound belt to Nemkov in August 2020 and has now dropped to 1-2 in his past three bouts.

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Anderson stops Bader in 51 seconds, advances to Bellator grand prix final
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