Corey Anderson’s had a long road to the UFC.

As a high school wrestler, Anderson was once pinned by a female competitor. Now, he can call himself a member of the UFC’s roster and Ultimate Fighter winner after defeating Matt Van Buren.

“It means a ton. When I go back home, people ask me if I’m really a fighter? When I was younger, I couldn’t fight myself out of a paper bag. I was a softy. I was a crybaby. I was 300 pounds,” said Anderson, during his post-fight interview on FOX Sports 1. “When I wrestled in high school, I got pinned by a girl, and now you look at me. I never quit and I’m going to give it my all at everything.”

Anderson, part of Frankie Edgar’s team on the show, moved in with Edgar’s father-in-law after the season to continue his training. It paid off with a thunderous victory over Van Buren.

“I studied every night,” Anderson said. “I bought an iPad, got a subscription to Fight Pass and watched Frankie’s fights every night to get his footwork. He taught me so much. They developed me into a man and a better fighter.”