Your wins and losses in life are as much about timing as anything else.
But rarely does this truism present itself as literally as what Eryk Anders pulled off on Saturday night at UFC Lincoln.
The former University of Alabama football standout perfectly timed a head kick as Tim Williams was coming off the mat during the closing seconds of a competitive middleweight fight at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Anders landed a knockout blow at the 4:42 mark of the third round, and while in real time, it looked like the kick may have been illegal, Nebraska follows the new Unified Rules of MMA. Even if Williams’ one hand was on the mat, Anders’ kick to the head would have been perfectly legal with that definition of a grounded opponent, which requires two hands — palms or fists — to be down for a fighter to be considered grounded.
“That’s a tough fight man I came out a little sluggish, a little lethargic,” Anders said after his eighth career finish. “I kind of set the trap a little bit he probably thought he was safe getting up but I noticed the way he was getting up and I took advantage.”
Anders did indeed come out slow in the bout, as Williams likely won the first round with his wrestling and grappling in a frame that otherwise didn’t see much action. Anders came around in the second, though, landing repeatedly with heavy left hands and making his opponent backpedal.
The fight came down to the third, then, and both men had their moments. Anders sprawled a Williams takedown with about two minutes left, and later shoved Williams to the mat to set up the finishing sequence.
Anders (11-1), who is now 3-1 in the UFC, is coming off a split-decision loss to Lyoto Machida in his last fight. And he said the difference between that bout and this one is that he waited for the knockout opportunity to present itself, rather than try to force the issue.
“I come to finish man,” Anders said. “I don’t go to the decision, between this fight and last fight, I was looking for the knockout last time and this time I let it come to me and it took 14 minutes and 30 seconds to get there.”
Williams dropped to 15-5 with the loss and is 0-2 in the UFC.