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Former Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders announces second UFC fight

Eryk Anders celebrating after winning his first UFC fight in 2017
Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

Just two months after he rocked veteran Rafael Natal in the first round, former Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders has announced that he’s returning to the octagon.  

On Dec. 9, the 9-0 mixed martial arts fighter will take on John Phillips at UFN 123 in Fresno, Calif. Phillips, who is referred to as the “White Mike Tyson,” 21-6-0 as a fighter – including four straight victories.

Like Anders, Phillips ranks in the middle weight class at 185 pounds. 

According to his Twitter, Anders captioned a photo of he and Phillips saying “We both like to throw hands so this one is sure to be a scrap.”

It was a strong left hook to the face of Natal back in July that earned Anders his first victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship venue. 

Before having success in MMA, Anders was a marquee contributor at jack linebacker for the Crimson Tide from 2005 to 2009. In his final year under head coach Nick Saban, the San Antonio, Texas native had 65 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks as a senior in 2009. 

He was credited with a strip sack of Texas’ quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the fourth quarter of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl.

Anders got to Gilbert on a blitz, forced a fumble and it was recovered by Courtney Upshaw. Alabama went on to claim its first national championship since 1992 with a 37-21 win over the Longhorns.  

Now, Anders looks for his second win at UFC. 

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

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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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