Austin Vanderford vs. Chris Curtis among additions to Bellator 251 fight card

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An intriguing matchup has been added to Bellator’s first November event.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Austin Vanderford and Chris Curtis will meet in a middleweight bout at Bellator 251. The event takes place Nov. 5 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and will air on the CBS Sports Network.

ESPN was first to report the booking.

In addition, multiple sources confirmed to MMA Fighting that a matchup between Nainoa Dung and Piankhi Zimmerman will also take place at Bellator 251.

Vanderford has won all nine of his professional bouts, which includes a 3-0 start to his Bellator run. After picking up a second-round submission win on Dana White’s Contender Series, “The Gentleman” would go on to sign with Bellator MMA and has picked up finishes of Cody Jones and Joseph Creer, along with a unanimous decision win over Grachik Bozinyan in his most recent fight in November.

The 30-year-old was scheduled to compete at September’s Bellator 246 event before he was scratched after testing positive for COVID-19.

Curtis, who also earned a finish on the Contender Series, is looking to make it two straight victories. “The Action Man” went on to sign with the PFL after not earning a UFC contract and went 1-3 for the promotion. The 33-year-old last competed in January where he earned a fourth-round TKO win over Darren Smith Jr. in a welterweight title fight at Fight Night 12 in Canada.

Bellator 251 will be headlined by the promotional debut of Corey Anderson as he takes on Melvin Manhoef.