“Mr. VanZant” Austin Vanderford finally has a date set for his Bellator debut.
The 28-year-old is the husband of UFC flyweight Paige VanZant and will be making his promotional debut on Feb. 15 at Bellator 215. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was the first to break the news that “AK47” will be facing Cody Jones on the card.
Vanderford (6-0) will mainly be remembered for his come from behind victory on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last July where he submitted Angelo Trevino in the second round. The Gracie Barra Portland product followed that up with a first-round TKO win over Edmilson Freitas at Final Fight Championship 32 in October, which pushed his undefeated streak to six-straight. The Alaskan born fighter hasn’t gone the distance in a fight since Oct. 2017. Vanderford signed with Bellator back in December.
Vanderford has fought his entire career at welterweight, but for his upcoming debut this matchup will actually be at a catchweight of 175-pounds. In addition, this fight will be on the main card which includes former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione, former bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas and undefeated NCAA wrestling standout Logan Storley. This fight replaces the Brandon Girtz vs. Pedro Carvalho lightweight matchup which was scrapped due to an injury to Carvalho
Jones (6-2) will also be making his debut for Bellator and carries a four-fight win streak. The 26-year-old has finished his last four opponents, including a first-round TKO win over Eric Belcher at Ultimate Battle Grounds 2 in August. The South Carolina native went 10-1 as an amateur before making his professional debut in Oct. 2015. Through eight career fights he’s only gone the distance twice in his career. Jones hasn’t tasted defeat since a Feb. 2017 decision loss to Ryan Riley at Valor Fights 40.
Bellator 215 takes place Feb. 15 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main event pits former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione against Sergei Kharitonov.
How do you think Austin Vanderford will perform in the Bellator cage?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/31/2019.