Former middleweight title challenger Austin Vanderford returned at Bellator 284, his first fight back since a loss to Gegard Mousasi earlier this year.
Vanderford, who lost to then-champion Moussasi for the first time in his career, is expected to face Anthony Adams on Friday. With Adams out, however, Canada’s Aaron Jeffrey stepped up.
Jeffrey made his presence felt early on. In the opening 30 seconds, Jeffrey put on a sturdy right cap and sat Vanderford down. However, the fighter on America’s top team would come forward and tie things to the fence with his tackle.
It won’t stay that way for long. On the way to the biggest win of his career, Jeffrey got another huge right hand. Again, Vanderford sat down, looking dazed. Jeffrey pounced, unleashing a flurry of follow-up attacks as Vanderford rolled over and took cover.
🤯 𝑴𝑨𝑱𝑶𝑹 𝑺𝑯𝑶𝑪𝑲𝑬𝑹
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) August 13, 2022
In a short time, as the referees called it, Jeffrey had won — and really moved into Bellato’s middleweight.
“People know who he is, nobody knows who I am. Hopefully they do now,” Jeffrey said after the fight. After a poor showing in the Contenders series, Jeffrey appears to have a home in Bellato and could be in the rankings early next week.
Official result: Aaron Jeffery def. Austin Vanderford, TKO, 1st round, 1:25