Austin Vanderford explains how nude photo series with wife Paige VanZant came to be

Austin Vanderford has made plenty of noise in the MMA world during his fighting career, but also with some of his work on social media.

The Bellator middleweight has created a photo series, which he posts on his personal Instagram, posing nude with his wife and fellow fighter Paige VanZant in many creative ways. Vanderford (10-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) says the idea originated during quarantine caused by the coronavirus pandemic and was something just to pass the time and have fun.

“It just comes down to her and I, we post what we want to post and really not caring too much or giving too much care to anyone else,” Vanderford recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “We had fun especially in quarantine doing the nude photos and stuff.

“It was just fun for us to do and something that we wanted to do, so we went with it. It wasn’t due to any request. We just came up one day, and honestly, I think I was running around the house naked, I was out doing pull-ups or something, and the idea kind of sparked, and we did it.”

Vanderford and VanZant’s photos comply with Instagram’s guidelines, and they make sure to creatively make their photos appropriate for the platform.

The Vanderford-VanZant couple followers seem to enjoy the content, and his family doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. Vanderford, 30, says his family supports his online persona. This doesn’t come as a surprise to them.


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“Yeah, our family is supper supportive of us, and they know we’re fun people, and they know our personalities more than anyone else,” Vanderford explained. “So what might be a surprise to the outside world isn’t a surprise to our family because they know us, and they know our true personalities and what not.

“We just have a fun time. That’s what our family is about. We have a good time, so we enjoy coming back home and being with the family and disconnecting from that world and just be with the family.”

Vanderford recently fought in November at Bellator 251, outpointing Vinicius de Jesus in a unanimous decision. “The Gentleman” has yet to be booked for another bout. Meanwhile, his wife, VanZant, is set to make her Bare Knuckle FC debut on Feb. 5. She takes on Britain Hart.