Austin Vanderford discusses his upcoming fight with Doug Usher at Bellator 225. The event will take place Aug. 24 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. and the middleweight bout is scheduled to take place during the preliminary card.
Bellator 225 will be headlined by a heavyweight rematch between Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov.
“The Gentleman” discusses heading back to Connecticut for the second time under the Bellator MMA banner, what he has learned about his opponent throughout the training camp and how his team has been on top of everything in regards to Usher’s style, how he sees the fight playing out, the incredible support and motivation he receives from his wife Paige VanZant and much more.
In addition, Vanderford reveals that his move up to 185 pounds will not be a one-time thing. In fact, the 7-0 fighter believes he ha found a new home in the middleweight division.
“I think this is going to be the weight class you see me at moving forward,” Vanderford told MyMMANews.com. “We’re going to try this one out for sure, but I felt like the weight cut (to 170) was becoming a bit much and I was kind of looking at the longevity of my career. I want to fight for a long time and there was going to be a day — whether it was sooner or later — that I just wasn’t going to be able to make 170 anymore. I would never want to get to the point where I did any permanent damage to myself, but I never wanted to get to a point where I didn’t make weight. That’s a tough thing to not make weight. I didn’t ever want that to be the case so I felt like 185 was a good move and my coaches, managers, and most importantly, my wife agreed so I made the move.”
Although he doesn’t want to look too far ahead, if Bellator decided to continue with doing divisional Grand Prix tournaments and the middleweight division were to be in line, Vanderford would be all over that opportunity.
“I never want to overlook any opponent, or overlook the 24th, but yeah, that’s another part that’s exciting for me,” Vanderford said about a potential middleweight Grand Prix. “I think that’s one of the most unique and fun things that MMA has going on right now, the Bellator Grand Prix tournaments and it kind of makes you wonder why more promotions aren’t doing this. It really is such a fun thing. If that opportunity presented it self, you better believe I would jump all over it.”
Check out the full interview with Bellator 225’s Austin Vanderford in the video above.