After amassing a professional record of 11-0, Austin Vanderford has earned his first crack at gold on Feb. 25 when he is tasked with fighting the two-time Bellator middleweight champ, Gegard Mousasi.
With a date and location in mind, the 185-pound champion will return after a successful outing against John Salter in August. In addition, the venue selected for the event will be the iconic 3Arena in Dublin. The match-up was first reported by sources at MMA Junkie. Mousasi faced Salter at Bellator 264 and earned the TKO victory in round three via punches. Meanwhile, Vanderford is coming off one of the biggest wins of his career when he got past Fabian Edwards in May.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Austin Vanderford Slated For Dublin, Ireland
Vanderford expanded his winning streak to fifteen against Edwards. The win marked Vanderford’s fifth with the promotion since joining in 2019. En route to establishing himself as the clear number one contender, he’s shown power, toughness, and a willingness not to surrender position during a fight.
The title challenger trains out of Gracie Barra Portland, and it’s clear the time there has paid dividends for the 31-year-old. Vanderford takes a cerebral approach to the fight game and understands when the time calls for either grappling or striking. During his recent fight against Edwards, Vanderford was cut on the top of his forehead. Despite the cut being in a place that could affect his vision, the future title challenger took the fight to the ground to ensure the bout would not be stopped due to the laceration.
Fists were flying inside the #Bellator cage back in May of 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣.
Take a look back at the highlights as we continue to recap the year with #BellatorIn60.#Bellator259 pic.twitter.com/YeH0TqCiPS
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) December 13, 2021
Gegard Mousasi is back in action and looking for the second title defense of his second middleweight reign. Similar to Vanderford, he has a versatile fighting style. With a massive amount of experience the champion has gained through a career of fighting, Mousasi is always a puzzling athlete when the cage door locks. Following Mousasi’s TKO victory against Salter, Vanderford was in attendance during the show, and the pair of fighters faced off in the middle of the cage that night.
As a former Strikeforce champion, Gegard Mousasi has seen it all during his fighting career. The 36-year old also spent 4-years in the UFC. It appears he is finding his groove as champion with a solid 3-fight winning streak intact. Dating back to 2016, Mousasi has won 11 out of the 12 bouts he’s competed in. As of this writing, Gegard Mousasi vs. Austin Vanderford is the first fight to be added to the Dublin card on Feb. 25.
Who are you taking in this middleweight match-up?