The Bellator debut of “Mr. VanZant” will take place next month.
Austin Vanderford, the husband of UFC star Paige VanZant, will make his Bellator debut on Feb. 15 against Cody Jones in a 175-pound catchweight fight, sources told ESPN. The fight will happen on the main card of Bellator 215, which takes place at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Vanderford-Jones replaces the Brandon Girtz vs. Pedro Carvalho fight, which was scratched after Carvalho suffered an undisclosed injury, sources say. As a result, Girtz has been removed from the card.
Vanderford is 6-0 as a professional. Fans and opponents have attempted to mock him by calling him “Mr. VanZant” after he married the UFC strawweight in September; however, he has openly talked about getting a kick out of the nickname and has no problem playing it up. Despite winning in his lone Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series fight last summer, Vanderford was not signed by the UFC, which came as a surprise to many.
Jones (6-2) will also be making his Bellator debut. He has won his past four fights in a row.