Vanderford wins promotional debut for VFC by submission
The 27-year-old won by second-round submission over Kenny Licea in the opening fight of the VFC 59 card in Omaha, Nebraska.
Vanderford, of Ninilchik High fame, improved to 3-0 since turning professional this year. He was 4-0 as an amateur.
Licea landed an early knee strike, but Vanderford hung tough and nearly finished the fight late in the first round with a head-and-arm choke.
The Alaskan nicknamed ‘AK-47’eventually ended it early in the second period after he got Licea (4-5) to tap out due to a rear-naked choke at the 4:03 mark.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Vanderford won his first MMA fight by TKO and his second by decision. All three of his pro fights happened in 2017.
The top prospect has a wrestling background that includes a NAIA national title at Southern Oregon University and two state titles in high school in Alaska.