Despite losing to War Machine at Bellator last month, Vaughn “Blud” Anderson is excited about returning to active competition.
On September 20, MMA veteran Vaughn Anderson was the first foreign fighter to represent China in one of the world’s largest MMA organizations, Bellator. Anderson is Canadian, but he has spent 13 years living in China and considers China to be his second home. North American fans may have familiarized themselves with Anderson since the Bellator fight, but many are unaware that he is also one of the pioneers of Chinese MMA.
Over the past 10 years, Anderson has left his mark on the Asian MMA landscape, especially in China, where he has most recently run China’s largest MMA Camp in Xian. When given the opportunity to fight War Machine at Bellator’s 100th show, he took the bout without hesitation, saying, “All fighters want to challenge themselves and fight the best opponents they can. This was a big step for me, and I wanted to test myself”.
To prepare himself for the fight, Anderson flew to Montreal and trained at Tristar Gym, the training ground of legendary MMA fighters such as Georges St. Pierre. Describing the experience, Anderson stated, “I was able to train with the group classes there and spar with their pros. I also hired Conrad Pla from the gym that I loved working with as my striking coach. I did strength and conditioning on my own, but a few times Steven Ray, Nathan Campos and I did strength and conditioning work together. Most importantly, I found Tony Christodoulou who I could bring to Bellator as my cornerman. He did a great job, as did my friends (Coach Nante Manangan and coach Arnold Urquidez) who flew in on their own dime from Hawaii to be in my corner.”
Anderson lost in round 2 by technical submission, but he has no regrets about taking the fight, saying, “It's always better to win, but it was still a good experience. I have accepted the outcome, and I learned things about myself that will make my performance in my next fight better.” In particular, Anderson feels that he learned an important lesson in patience: “I’m always going for the finish and don't ever accept losing rounds, but this time it cost me the fight. If I would have stalled with War on my back instead of looking to escape and win the round, I would have survived to see round 3.” Despite the loss, he hopes to have more opportunities to fight under the Bellator banner in the future: “I wasn’t hurt at all in the fight and am looking forward to fighting again soon. I am always interested in fighting tough opponents, and Bellator has many.”
Since his fight, Anderson has taken the opportunity to travel around Canada visiting his family and friends. He will return to Xian in mid-October and bring back the new knowledge he picked up at Tristar: “I want to prove as a fighter you should always maintain morale and conviction. As a coach, you get to practice your techniques in a fight, then bring that experience back and pass it on to your students. And when they hear how tough Canadian fighters’ lives are, maybe they’ll be more grateful with the things they have.”