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Alabama in the Pros

Former Tide LB Eryk Anders wins LAF Middle Weight Championship

Former Tide LB now MMA fighter Eryk Anders wins LFA's Middle Weight Championship title: Photo via Anders' Facebook

Even if it’s not in football, Nick Saban and Alabama produce winners.

It seems as though Eryk Anders’ biggest moments either come in his home state of Texas or versus a team from Texas (hint, hint). What ever the case may be, the former Crimson Tide linebacker was in Austin on Friday, competing in the inaugural Legacy Alliance Fighting (LAF) Middle Weight Championship.

After entering the cage at 7-0, the San Antonio native took on Brendan Allen.

Despite some fatigue late in the match and Anders fighting out of a chokehold, he consistently displayed power in his kicks and punches. Anders was chosen as the winner by a unanimous decision, improving to a perfect 8-0 and winning the LAF Middle Weight Championship title. Before finding his competitive niche in mixed martial arts, Anders was a marquee component on the Tide’s 2009 BCS national championship team.

Listed below is a recap video of Anders’ fight via AXS TV Fights.

With a passion for Southeastern Conference schools, he was offered at Ole Miss but ended up choosing Alabama upon Mike Shula’s calling. Anders would be a solid contributor under Shula (2005-06), but he really flourished under Saban’s tutelage during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. As a fifth-year senior, he developed an knack for creating negative plays and generating turnovers. Anders collected 65 total tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss (second on team) and six sacks (second on team) in 2009.

He carried a team-high 17 quarterback hurries that year and forced three fumbles.

His most memorable play for Tide fans will forever be his strip sack of Texas’ backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. The effort ended up being the final nail in the heart of the Longhorns, helping Alabama secure a 37-21 win and start Saban’s unprecedented run of championships.

Alabama - Texas 2009 - Anders Fumble

 

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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