Bellator title contender Austin Vanderford gets knocked out by unranked short notice replacement

On the undercard of Bellator 284, Canadian middleweight Aaron Jeffery quickly defeated (The Gentleman) Austin Vanderford despite having just eight days’ notice.

The second-ranked challenger in the 185-pound division for Bellator, Vanderford (12-2-0), was coming off a defeat to current middleweight champion Gegard (The Dreamcatcher) Mousasi in February.

Less than 30 seconds into the bout, Jeffery, who replaced Anthony Adams as Vanderford’s opponent on short notice, landed a flush right hand directly to Vanderford’s head.

Back up now, Vanderford clinched at the fence and attempted to knock Jeffery to the ground. However, as soon as they split apart, Jeffery floored Vanderford with another right and continued to pour it on him with five more strikes before Bobby Wombacher, the referee, intervened to stop the punishment after only 85 seconds.

Jeffery has said of his upset victory, “It’s huge.” “He’s a big-name guy, No. 2 in the division. People know who he is. Nobody knows who I am. And hopefully, they do now.”

Austin Vanderford suffered his second consecutive defeat; at Bellator 275, Gegard Mousasi had previously submitted him in the same 85-second period. Before his latest slump, “Mr. VanZant had a winning streak of eleven in a row.

As for Aaron Jeffery, the former CFFC champion is now undefeated at Bellator.

The Canadian lost to Brendan Allen in 2019 and Caio Borralho in September 2021 on Dana White’s Contender Series before making his professional debut.

But after his jump under the Bellator banner, Jeffery seems to have found his home and punched his way into the Bellator rankings.

Japanese welterweight Goiti Yamauchi defeated Brazilian Neiman Gracie in the second round of the main event at the Sanford Pentagon.