Vanderford improves to 8-0 in professional MMA

Vanderford improves to 8-0 in professional MMA

Austin Vanderford, a 2008 graduate of Ninilchik School, improved to 8-0 in his professional mixed martial arts career with a win over previously undefeated Joseph Creer of Georgia on Saturday at Bellator 225 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Vanderford, who improved to 2-0 in Bellator, moved up to middleweight for this fight. Vanderford, who won an NAIA wrestling title for Southern Oregon University at 184 pounds in 2012, is listed at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, while Creer is at 6-4, 185 pounds.

Vanderford said in a press conference after the fight that throughout his career as a wrestler, he never really cut a lot of weight to fight because that can be hard on the body. In MMA, he cut all the way down to 170, so he was anxious to see how a fight went above that weight.

“I felt like he was a big opponent, too, for 185,” Vanderford said. “So it gave me a realistic look going forward what I have. I feel so nice, man, not killing myself to make 170.”

The size difference did not stop Vanderford from drawing blood on Creer and ending the fight by second-round TKO. Creer had a six-fight winning streak snapped.

“He landed a couple body kicks early on, but God’s blessed me with this big, strong core,” Vanderford said. “I didn’t really feel much. I carry a lot of my weight in my core and my legs.”

The fighter also was not slowed by the heat in Connecticut.

“Man, it’s muggy here,” he said. “It’s crazy. I’m from Alaska. I’m an Alaska boy so I’m more partial to the cold and the snow.”

Vanderford said he hopes his fighting style has him set up for bigger things.

“I’m durable, I’m tough, I’m going to go out there and I’m always looking to get a finish,” he said. “That’s my eighth fight, and I think I have six finishes in eight pro fights.

“That’s what people want to see. They want to see people get cut open and bleed, and I’m ready for it. I’m ready for that next jump. I want to take on a big name, for sure.”

More in Sports

Friday hoops: Lumen girls, CIA boys win Peninsula Conference titles

The Cook Inlet Academy boys and Lumen Christi girls won Peninsula Conference… Continue reading

Friday: Bears fall to Wolverines in shootout

The Kenai River Brown Bears lost 3-2 in a shootout to the… Continue reading

Lumen-Birchwood girls, CIA-Lumen boys to play for Peninsula Conference championships

The Lumen Christi and Birchwood girls, and Cook Inlet Academy and Lumen… Continue reading

Tuesday hoops: Grace Christian sweeps Seward

The visiting Grace Christian basketball teams swept Seward on Tuesday in Peninsula… Continue reading

Soldotna's Ariana Cannava skis her team to third place in the 4-by-3-kilometer relay at the state Nordic ski meet at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Danika Winslow)
State skiing: Kenai girls, boys take DII honors

The Kenai Peninsula had plenty to shout about Thursday, Friday and Saturday… Continue reading

The Kenai River Brown Bears celebrate a goal during a game against Fairbanks at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River Brown Bears snap losing skid with win over Fairbanks

It was the team’s first win since Dec. 2

Soldotna’s Kaytlin McAnelly, backed by teammate Izzy Cruz, moves with the ball against defensive play by Houston’s Andi Robinson during a basketball game at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Friday hoops: Soldotna splits with Houston on senior night

Nikiski girls and boys also took on Grace Christian

Most Read