A middleweight matchup between undefeated wrestling expert, Austin ‘The Gentleman’ Vanderford and emerging British contender, Fabian ‘The Assassin’ Edwards is currently targeted to land at Bellator 259 on May 21. — with the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut expected to house the event.

Undefeated in ten professional walks, 31-year-old contender, Vanderford enters the proposed clash with Edwards off the back of a unanimous decision victory over Vinicius de Jesus at Bellator 251 last November. 

Edwards, the younger brother of the #3 ranked UFC welterweight challenger, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards dropped his first professional loss in his most recent trip to the Bellator cage, in the form of a split decision defeat to Dutch submission threat, Costello Van Steenis at Bellator Euro Series 8 last September in Milan, Italy. News of the targeted matchup was first reported by ESPN MMA.

Vanderford, the partner of UFC alum and now Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship feature, Paige ’12 Gauge’ VanZant has featured on Dana White’s Contender Series in the past, where he secured his fourth professional victory with a second-round rear-naked choke win over Angelo Trevino.

A prominent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, Vanderford has scored some notable victories during his submission grappling exploits, including wins over the likes of Micah Brakefield, and Richie Martinez. 

Featuring four times under the Scott Coker led banner, the Gracie Barra Portland trainee has managed to take home victories in each of his outings under the promotion’s scrutiny, adding the above-mentioned, de Jesus to prior successes against Grachik Bozinyan, Joseph Creer, and an arm-triangle finish of Cody Jones.

Birmingham native, Edwards suffered his first professional loss against the above-mentioned, van Steenis, moving his overall record to 9-1. Competing five times under the Bellator banner between two stints, Edwards featured prominently under the now-defunct BAMMA association — where he notched his four other professional victories.

The 28-year-old has scored notable wins over the likes of recent Cage Warriors headliner, Kent Kaupinnen, Claudio Conti, Lee Chadwick, Jonathan Bosuku, and Mike Shipman.

Bellator 259 takes place on May 21. from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut — with a featherweight title rematch between reigning division pacesetter, Cris Cyborg and Leslie Smith slated to take main event honours. Cyborg and Smith first met back in 2016 during their time under the UFC’s banner, with Cyborg taking a hometown opening round knockout win in her promotional debut in a 140-pound catchweight contest. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.