Undefeated middleweight contender, Austin ‘The Gentleman’ Vanderford has been forced to withdraw from his Bellator 246 pairing with Daniel Madrid on September 12th. – following a second positive novel coronavirus test result.

Submission ace, Vanderford has been promotional perfect since his Bellator bow back in February of last year – scoring three consecutive victories to improve his professional résumé to 9-0.

The former Dana White’s Contender Series feature, who’s married to recent BKFC and UFC alum, Paige ’12 Gauge’ VanZant was scheduled to feature in a featured preliminary tie with the above noted, Madrid this weekend. Replacing Vanderford; Pat Casey drafts in on short notice for the 185-pound matching. News of the reworked bout of Madrid and Casey was initially reported by MMA Junkie.

Taking to his official Instagram account this afternoon, Vanderford confirmed his positive COVID-19 test and subsequent withdrawal from his clash with Madrid.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete for Bellator next weekend,” Vanderford penned. “I tested positive for COVID(-19) (a second time now). To say it’s a bummer is a serious understatement. But I’m going to rest up and recover now. I’ll be ready to go ASAP. Stay healthy and safe.

Vanderford, who’s a prominent submission expert, has competed under the Submission Underground banner most recently – scoring arm-triangle wins over Richie Martinez, and Micah Brakefield in the opening quarter of this year.

Inside the Bellator cage, the 30-year-old Portland-based Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player has notched triumphs over a trio of Cody Jones, the then-undefeated, Joseph Creer, and a November unanimous judging win over Grachik Bozinyan.

Bellator 246 takes place on September 12th. from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut – with a new undisputed bantamweight champion set to be crowned. Taking headlining honours, recent featherweight title challenger, Juan Archuleta takes on streaking finisher, Patchy Mix with vacant 135-pound spoils up for grabs.

Also featuring on the card – former UFC title challengers, Jon Fitch, and Liz Carmouche who tackle Neiman Gracie, and DeAnna Bennett, respectively.