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Austin Vanderford and ex-UFC star wife Paige VanZant discuss leaving politics out of MMA

Austin Vanderford (left); Paige VanZant (right)
Austin Vanderford (left); Paige VanZant (right)
Johny Payne
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 07 Nov 2020, 05:34 IST
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Bellator MMA fighter Austin Vanderford made headlines when he spoke to reporters during the post-fight media scrum of his Bellator 251 victory.

Austin Vanderford answered several questions at the media scrum, including a query regarding the ongoing political events in the United States of America.

Known by his moniker, 'The Gentleman', Austin Vanderford was asked for his views concerning some of the fighters at his current gym American Top Team (ATT) who are particularly vocal about politics and the 2020 United States Presidential elections.

Austin Vanderford only recently made the move to ATT, a gym that’s regarded by many as one of the top Mixed Martial Arts training camps in the world.

ATT is home to fighters such as BMF champion Jorge Masvidal, who has emerged as one of the most vocal and popular supporters of current US President Donald Trump.

Masvidal has been credited by political experts for helping President Trump garner a significant amount of support, from the Cuban-American and overall Latin-American community in particular, in the BMF champion’s native Florida in the ongoing US Presidential elections.

Similarly, former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington – who recently parted ways with ATT amid multiple disputes with fellow ATT fighters such as Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and more – has also been one of the most popular and vocal supporters of US President Donald Trump over the years.

Covington has also contributed towards raising awareness among his fellow US citizens in order to help re-elect President Trump for another term as the leader of the United States of America.

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Austin Vanderford explains why he and former UFC star Paige VanZant keep politics out of MMA

Current Bare Knuckle Boxing Championship (BKFC) fighter Paige VanZant is one of the most well-known combat sports personalities today, having featured in mainstream projects and events in the entertainment industry, besides also having competed in the UFC.

Both Paige VanZant and her husband Austin Vanderford are quite active and popular on social media platforms as well. This, coupled with their celebrity status, has led many to question as to why they haven’t weighed in with their views on the ongoing US Presidential elections.

In response to the question regarding MMA fighters, particularly at his current gym ATT, being politically active in the public eye, Austin Vanderford explained that he and his wife Paige VanZant choose to refrain from being vocal about their political views. Austin Vanderford stated –

“We’re both not really political people. And I’ve got my own opinions on things and whatnot, but, you know, it’s for us. And you know I’m gonna be honest – I’m a fighter, man. I’m not really…You know, I’m intelligent, but I’m not like the most intelligent guy. I do have a college degree and whatnot.”
“So, you know what, for me, I don’t think it’s right to really voice much because I just don’t have a lot of education on it. And you know some people might think that’s silly and I should care more, but I’m a fighter and I care about fighting.”
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“And, of course, I care about the US and the world. But, you know, my father was in the military, my grandfathers; and I have so much respect for the military and what they do and whatnot. You know, that’s just kind of where I’m at.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Austin Vanderford boasts an undefeated record in professional MMA competition, with 10 wins and no losses, his most recent fight being a dominant unanimous decision victory over Vinicius de Jesus in a middleweight bout at Bellator 251.

On the other hand, his wife Paige VanZant is all set to make her BKFC debut (read the details regarding her highly anticipated bare-knuckle boxing debut).

Published 07 Nov 2020, 05:34 IST
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