Aaron Jeffery was only given a short amount of notice for his second Bellator fight, yet he still managed to stun the competition and immediately become a contender.
At Bellator 284, Jeffery (13-3 in MMA, 2-0 in BMMA) knocked out Austin Vanderford (11-2 in MMA, 5-2 in BMMA) with punches at 1:25 of Round 1. Vanderford was a recent challenger for the middleweight title. The fight was the first event on the main card that took place on Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Early and frequently, Jeffery was successful while he was on his feet. The last ending sequence was started with an overhand right, which knocked Vanderford out and sent him to the canvas. As Jeffery delivered the finishing blows, Vanderford fell over onto his side and covered his face. Jeffery continued to throw punches until the fight was done.
Early in 2022, Jeffery, who was then 29 years old, signed with Bellator. It was his first major promotional gig after years of being a champion on the regional circuit and two unsuccessful efforts on Dana White’s Contender Series. The move marked his first major promotional gig. In June, Jeffery made his debut for Bellator with a second-round technical knockout victory over Fabio Aguiar. His win on Saturday brought his winning streak to its third consecutive game.
After suffering his first defeat in February at the hands of Gegard Mousasi, Vanderford is now about to embark on the first losing streak of his professional career. Prior to the year 2022, Vanderford’s professional record stood at 11-0 with six finishes.
The up-to-the-minute Bellator 284 results include:
- Aaron Jeffery def. Austin Vanderford via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:25
- Marcos Breno def. Josh Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- DeAnna Bennett def. Justine Kish via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sullivan Cauley def. Tyson Jeffries via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 1:39
- Pat Downey def. Keyes Nelson via submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 1, 0:36
- Bailey Schoenfelder def. Mark Currier via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:35
- Mitchell McKee def. Tony Ortega via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:28