On Tuesday night, Team Alpha Male prospect, Angelo Trevino, takes on NAIA national champion wrestler and Gracie Barra Portland fighter, Austin Vanderford.
If you’ve heard about Austin Vanderford, it’s probably because of his UFC fighter fiance, Paige VanZant. Marketing himself as VanZant’s man on Twitter may have helped him to secure this fight on the Contender Series.
There are no surprises in store when predicting Vanderford’s style of attack. He wants to back you up against the fence, chain wrestle and apply a heavy top game. A gifted athlete and a tank at welterweight, this approach has been effective against regional opposition. I’m not sure how well he will fare as he faces increasingly stiffer tests. While Vanderford is usually able to secure takedowns against the fence, his shots in open space are not as effective. He also looks limited on the feet – throwing a telegraphed overhand and no combinations. Against his last opponent, Kenny Licea, Vanderford clearly lost the striking exchanges but was able to use an 18 pound weight advantage (after rehydrating) to take the fight to the mat and secure a submission victory.
Fighting out of Team Alpha Male, it’s no surprise that Angelo Trevino can wrestle. Against a legitimate Division 1 wrestler in Bobby Nash, Trevino more than held his own in the grappling exchanges. While Trevino lacks the wrestling accolades of his opponent, he doesn’t need to win a wrestling match – he just needs to remain vertical for long enough to deploy his biggest advantage: his striking. Although Trevino is three years younger than his opponent, he’s the more experienced mixed martial artist. His fluidity, shot selection and movement are light years ahead of Vanderford.
The Value is on the Underdog
Based on Vanderford’s explosive wrestling and extreme physicality, I can understand why money is coming in on him. However, power can tax your cardiovascular system. I have no doubt that Vanderford can wrestle for three hard rounds, but what about when he faces someone who can counter-wrestle and force him to strike?
In a recent live stream, Paige VanZant revealed that Vanderford has a brutal weight cut from over 200 pounds and wishes her fiance would move to middleweight. I don’t think Trevino is going to have a problem dealing with the ankle picks that Vanderford loves to shoot, and he should be able to handedly win the striking exchanges.
Pick: Trevino +135