Sources: Corey Anderson leaves UFC, inks deal with Bellator

UFC veteran Corey Anderson is headed to Bellator.

According to multiple sources, Anderson, who was ranked fourth in the UFC's rankings and was not a free agent, recently asked for his release from the promotion and was granted it. He still had multiple fights left on his deal, sources say. Shortly thereafter, he signed a new, multifight deal with Bellator.

Anderson's Bellator debut hasn't been finalized yet, but he figures to be a major player in the promotion's light heavyweight division.

"This was a mutual decision between Corey and the UFC," said Anderson's manager, Ali Abdelaziz. "I'd like to thank the UFC and Bellator, everyone involved. This entire process took less than two hours to work through, and we're grateful to both promotions."

Anderson (13-5) most recently lost to Jan Blachowicz via first-round knockout in February. Prior to that, he had won four fights in a row, including wins over Johnny Walker, Glover Teixeira and Ilir Latifi. Had he defeated Blachowicz, he could have very well been next in line for a title shot against champion Jon Jones.

This marks the end of his six-year run with the UFC. He debuted in 2014 after winning the 19th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show.

Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader will defend his title against Vadim Nemkov on Aug. 21.