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With Chris Curtis out of Bellator 251, Austin Vanderford now meets Vinicius de Jesus

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Austin Vanderford has a new opponent for Thursday’s Bellator 251 card at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Originally expected to fight Chris Curtis, Vanderford (9-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) now faces former LFA welterweight title challenger and current CES MMA welterweight champion Vinicius De Jesus in a middleweight bout.

A promotion official informed MMA Junkie of the booking Monday but did not give a reason for Curtis’ withdrawal. MyMMANews recently reported Curtis withdrew from the fight due to a positive COVID-19 test.

De Jesus (9-3 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) has four of his most recent five fights. Six of his nine pro wins have come by knockout.

Curtis isn’t the only fighter to have withdrawn from Bellator 251. A promotion official also informed MMA Junkie that Nainoa Dung is out of his prelim fight against Piankhi Zimmerman (5-4-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and is replaced by Ali Zebian (4-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).

Additionally, the light heavyweight fight between Terrance Jean-Jacques (5-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Gustavo Trujillo (3-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has been canceled for unknown reasons, per a promotion official.

With the changes, the Bellator 251 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (CBS Sports Network/DAZN, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Corey Anderson vs. Melvin Manhoef
  • Tyrell Fortune vs. Said Sowma
  • Vinicius de Jesus vs. Austin Vanderford
  • Derek Anderson vs. Killys Mota


  • Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Bryce Logan
  • Julius Anglickas vs. Alex Polizzi
  • Janay Harding vs. Jessy Miele
  • Ali Zebian vs. Piankhi Zimmerman
  • Jaylon Bates vs. Joe Supino
  • Sumiko Inaba vs. Jessica Ruiz
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