Paige VanZant is All Elite.
The UFC and BKFC veteran inked a deal to join the roster at All Elite Wrestling on Wednesday night, with AEW president Tony Khan confirming the deal via Twitter.
The 27-year-old fighter has been making sporadic appearances in AEW since 2021 as part of an angle involving several of her training partners out of American Top Team in Florida alongside ATT owner Dan Lambert.
In her official introduction while signing her contract, VanZant engaged in a new storyline with Tay Conti, the real life girlfriend and on-screen manager to wrestler Sammy Guevara. VanZant appeared on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday at the end of a match where Guevara lost his AEW TNT championship to Scorpio Sky, who counts Lambert as his on-screen manager in the promotion.
It appears VanZant is preparing for an eventual showdown against Conti as part of her first storyline now that she’s part of the AEW roster.
VanZant has long expressed interest in potentially crossing over into professional wrestling, even while she was still in the midst of her career with the UFC.
After exiting the UFC in 2020, VanZant signed a lucrative multi-fight deal with BKFC to compete in bare-knuckle boxing, where she’s currently amassed an 0-2 record with the promotion. BKFC president David Feldman told MMA Fighting earlier this year that he expected VanZant to return to the ring in late spring or early summer, although it would seem that her deal with AEW might delay those plans.
BKFC officials did not respond to MMA Fighting for comment on VanZant’s deal to join AEW.
It’s expected that VanZant will begin to train in professional wrestling for her official in-ring debut with AEW, although the overall terms of her deal are still unknown at this time.