The first loss of Austin Vanderford’s career was a tough one, but he’s keeping a positive perspective on the experience.
Vanderford leared a hard lesson – that there are levels to mixed martial arts – Friday at Bellator 275 after middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi schooled him en route to a TKO victory in just 85 seconds at 3Arena in Dublin. The victory was the 49th overall of Mousasi’s decorated career. For Vanderford, it was his first loss in 12 professional fights.
Vanderford didn’t speak to reporters after the fight. On Saturday, though, he posted about the loss on Instagram and was seemingly in good spirits as he thanked wife Paige VanZant and American Top Team.
“Last night wasn’t my night, but I’m thankful that this will only make me a better fighter,” Vanderford wrote.
You can read his full statement below:
“Humble in victory and defeat. Congrats to @mousasi on the well earned victory. Last night wasn’t my night, but I’m thankful that this will only make me a better fighter. Thank you to the friends, family and fans who support me! We’ll be back better than ever. Thank you to my team @americantopteam @parrumpaatt . Thank you to all my teammates at ATT, best gym in the world . And last but most important, thank you to my loving wife @paigevanzant who is there for me forever and always . I’m good, and motivated to just get back to the gym ”
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Vanderford, 31, was victorious on Dana White’s Contender Series in July 2018 but wasn’t offered a UFC contract after his win. He was later signed by Bellator and made his promotional debut in February 2019, reeling off five consecutive wins to earn his shot at Mousasi’s title.