It has been almost a month since former Alabama linebacker and current UFC middleweight Eryk Anders last competed inside the Octagon. In a tough scrap that went the distance, he lost a razor-thin split decision to Jun Yong Park after having over 20 of his takedown attempts defended. The fight was Anders's second in roughly six months, but he lost both of those bouts.

His last win came up a weight class just over a year ago at UFC 263. Now he looks to snap the skid with a number of opponents potentially making sense for his return to the cage.

Anders (14-7 (1) MMA, 6-7 (1) UFC) competes at 185 pounds but has ventured into the 205-pound light heavyweight division four times. In an interview prior to the Park fight, he set a possible return timeframe for the fall. He's 2-2 at light heavyweight but prefers middleweight. With two divisions from which to draw, who could be next?

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Roman Dolidze (middleweight, 9-1)- Anders and Dolidze were set to fight on November 13 of last year, but Anders was forced out of the contest due to COVID-19. Dolidze was then set to take on Kyle Daukaus at the event but fell off the card himself; that pairing is now set to clash on June 25. It's possible Dolidze could make a fall date barring either an injury or long medical suspension. Seven of his nine pro wins have come by finish.

Marc-Andre Barriault (middleweight, 14-5(1))- Barriault has been calling Anders out for over a year, dating back to UFC 260. He's remained persistent in his efforts to get a fight opposite the Alabama alum, even going so far as to say his own football background meant the fight made sense. He won his most recent fight in April but was finished with strikes in less than 20 seconds in February. He can meet Anders at middleweight or light heavyweight, as he held gold at both weight classes before the UFC. The fight isn't at the top of Anders's wish list, however, owing in part to Barriault's past failed drug test and his recent knockout defeat. Two of his three UFC wins have come by finish, as did two of his TKO MMA title fights.

Somebody at 205 pounds- The light heavyweight division was Anders's home for about a year from 2018-19, and his most recent win took place there. Anders will fight anybody, obliging Stewart last summer when he wanted to fight up a weight class, and there are several fan-friendly matchups to be had- the likes of veteran Ed Herman (Anders has shown past interest in fighting him) and the powerful Devin Clark come to mind, just to name a few.

The bottom line is that Anders's power and strength make him a threat to anybody he faces. It will undoubtedly be priority number one for Anders to get back on track, but there are numerous options to do it, all of which would likely result in Fight of the Night-level throwdowns.

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