Austin Vanderford is ready to make a name for himself in arguably the biggest fight of his career against Fabian Edwards at Bellator 259 which will take place this Friday evening at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

The undefeated prospect has gone 4-0 with Bellator since joining the promotion in 2019. Vanderford currently sits at #3 in the middleweight rankings and is hoping a win over Edwards will push him closer to a shot at the 185lb champion, Gegard Mousasi.

Paige Vanzant’s husband is looking to finish Edwards on Friday night but is more than willing to go to war for three, five-minute rounds.

“I envision a finish, but I’m willing to go all three rounds,” Vanderford told LowKickMMA.  “All 15 minutes and just make it a grimy, gritty fight. I, of course, look for the submission but I never force it. I’m willing to go hard for 15 minutes and I think we’ve built up my cardio and my gas tank to do that.

Vanderford understandably has considered how he’d fare against the best in the division but refuses to look past his next opponent.

“I think I have the skill set in and the game to compete with anybody in the world. It just comes down to that day, putting it on and putting it all together,” Vanderford explained. “All three of those guys (Gegard Mousasi, John Salter & Anatoly Tokov) are very tough contenders, but the opponent I’ve got right now is extremely tough, and I need to make sure that I go out there and I take care of business or else all that talk is obsolete. So, my mind is set on Fabian Edwards. I’m ready to go put hands on him.”

Do you think Austin Vanderford will beat Fabian Edwards and move one step closer to a title shot at Bellator 259?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.