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Austin Vanderford returns, draws Imamshafi Aliev at Bellator 297 on June 16

Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA

Former Bellator MMA Middleweight title contender, Austin Vanderford, will attempt to snap his two-fight skid when he makes his return to action to battle Imamshafi Aliev at the stacked Bellator 297 event on June 16, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

After starting his professional career with 11 straight wins, “The Gentleman” suffered back-to-back defeats to Gegard Mousasi and Aaron Jeffery. Still, Vanderford is currently sitting in the No. 5 spot in the rankings, and if he can get back into the win column, it will inject him back into the mix.

A victory won’t come easy, however, because he will be facing a surging contender who has yet to taste defeat in Aliev. The Dagestani-born fighter is currently undefeated (9-0) with six stoppages to his credit, which includes making a smashing Bellator debut at Bellator 288 with a first-round technical knockout win (doctor’s stoppage) over Sean Connor Fallon.

Bellator 297 will feature a Light Heavyweight title fight between champion, Vadim Nemkov, and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title contender, Yoel Romero. In the co-main event, Patricio Pitbull will attempt to make history by winning his third title in as many divisions when he challenges Sergio Pettis for his Bantamweight belt.

Also, Corey Anderson will battle Phil Davis to round out the stacked main card. Plus, knockout artist, Daniel James, will make his return to face off against Gokhan Saricam.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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