AUSTIN VANDERFORD has opened up about his relationship with Paige VanZant — from the ultimate date night to steamy photoshoots and celebs sliding into their DMs.
The former UFC star, 32, revealed all ahead of his Bellator 284 middleweight bout against Canadian Aaron Jeffery on Friday.
The power couple was introduced to ex-MMA pro Chael Sonnen at an event in 2017 and wed in September 2018.
Both have endured grueling fight camps, with VanZant taking on Charisa Sigala in their bare-knuckle comeback bout on August 20th.
And Vanderford says he was the culinary genius in the kitchen, preparing healthy meals for the pair during their battle camps.
When asked who the best chef was, Vanderford said, “It’s really funny because everyone knows Paige as a chef.
“She’s starting a cooking show soon, but for the past week, I’ve been the one who came up with a really elaborate, healthy kitchen.
“And a few nights ago we were both just looking at each other and she said, ‘Damn, maybe you’re the best cook!'”
The pair recently cranked up the PDA to push the boundaries of Instagram with a raunchy photoshoot.
The pictures showed the couple hugging for a shower kiss while Paige clung to her husband as the pair emerged up close and personal in the jungle.
Austin took off his shirt while Paige wore nothing but a skimpy black bathing suit.
Vanderford said: “I think there are a few more pictures that haven’t been posted.
“She talked me into doing more shoots with her too. She has to dangle things in front of me.
“She’ll say, ‘Hey, you can buy any sneakers you want if you do this photoshoot with me. I’m a huge sneaker fan, so I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll do it!’”
The couple enjoys a variety of dates, from campfires in Alaska to rides at amusement parks.
Vanderford said, “Where we previously lived in Portland, Oregon, the food was amazing.
“So when we go on dates, we like to go out, dress up and have a nice meal and a drink.
“We have different dates, it’s really fun.
“I’m originally from Alaska, so we like going back there and we’re very different people when we’re there.
“Our dates there are with the family by the fire and we get really drunk and just have a good time.
“We like to do fun things that we like to go to, like amusement parks and all that crazy stuff.”
It’s no surprise the sizzling couple’s DMS are filled with messages from fans.
But Vanderford revealed they’re also fending off messages from other celebs.
VanZant once revealed that she was approached by NFL star JJ Watt and musician Nick Jonas.
Vanderford said, “Paige is actually the one who gets more jealous when a girl hits on me or texts me.
“We’re both very open with each other, we don’t have any secrets. We’ve built a really solid foundation in our marriage.
“Celebrities and athletes come up to them. I see who you are and it was obvious before we were together.
“I always joke like, ‘Baby, you’re an idiot, you ended up with me, you could have lived a different life!’
“There wasn’t another fighter in their DMs, but definitely actors and NFL footballers and basketballs.
“But she picked my little old me from Alaska, which I always find hilarious.”
VanZant and Vanderford met and found love in their beloved sport of MMA.
When asked about the secret behind the success of their happy marriage, Vanderford said, “It’s not really a secret, but she’s just such an amazing person.
“She’s so motivating for me to see what she’s going through to keep getting up. It’s inspirational.
“We have a unique bond and now we’ve had back-to-back fight camps, so it’s nice to be able to motivate each other.”
Watch Austin Vanderford in action at Bellator 284: Gracie vs Yamauchi on Friday 12 August from 11pm BST live on BBC iPlayer
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/mma/5987947/austin-vanderford-paige-vanzant-photo-shoot/ Austin Vanderford reveals all about THIS Paige VanZant shoot and reveals ‘more pics to come’