Anders (15-7 MMA, 7-7 UFC) revealed plans to retire from active competition after five more fights, with the first of those coming this weekend when he takes on Marc-Andre Barriault (15-6 MMA, 4-5 UFC) in a middleweight bout at Rogers Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
Already satisfied with the career he’s put together, Anders is increasingly aware of the sacrifices he makes as a high-level professional fighter. Now it’s time to wind down.
“Five (more fights) puts me at 20 UFC fights and I think that’s a really good – not many people get that many fights with the UFC,” Anderson told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 289 media day. “My kids are getting older so it’s time for me to kind of – not really transition into a father role because I’m active in their lives, but going away for two months at a time and being gone fighting then needing surgery and even when I get home, sitting on the couch in a cast or whatever.
“It’s just time for me to put more into them. I’m already 36, so I kind of already see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Anders said he will continue to give the sport as all until those five fights are complete. He’s excited to open the main card in the matchup with Barriault, who has been calling him out for more than four years.
To hear more from Anders, watch his complete UFC 289 media day interview above. For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 289.