Vanderaa (9-3) defended his belt for the first time with a second-round TKO of Ricky Misholas (7-8) in the co-main event of EFC 77 at Pretoria’s Time Square last weekend.
While matchmaker Graeme Cartmell has indicated Austin (13-5) may be next in line for a title shot, the Englishman told mmaengage.com he would prefer one more fight before challenging for gold.
Austin previously called out ex-champ Ruan Potts (11-7) in December after becoming the only man to knockout now-retired South African MMA legend Andrew van Zyl (19-5).
“I actually thought me and Stuart were going to fight after his last
performance with Van Zyl,” Vanderaa told reporters fresh off dismantling
“I mean, I already said, come to the press conferences, it’s going to
be funny. Me and Stuart, I like the dude, I respect the guy. He’s a
class act. He’s a little wild. Don’t take anything we say very
seriously. It’s going to be a wild show if we fight.”
Vanderaa, a well-rounded fighter with personality to match his hefty
frame, also discussed his performance against DR Congo’s Misholas.
“He hits really hard. We expected certain things. I also expected
Ricky to come in (and give a) tip-top performance, and I believe that he
did. I think I matched well against him, just because I like fighting
boxers. I know that’s where he originally started from. But I knew he
was going to be tough. I knew I had to take my time, respect the power,
respect the chin, and that’s where I caught the win,” concluded the
American, who feels he is close to receiving a call-up to the UFC.
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