Paige VanZant is officially slated for BKFC debut. The former UFC star will compete in her first gloveless scrap on February 5, taking on Britain Hart.
VanZant shared her first reaction to this booking on her official Instagram account not long after the news surfaced.
February 5th,” VanZant wrote in the first of two posts. “There will be blood.
“Love it or hate it I’m throwing down in @bareknucklefc,” VanZant added in a second post. “Only way to watch is that link in my bio. Subscribe now so you don’t miss out!”
Paige VanZant entered the combat sports limelight as a member of the UFC roster, competing nine times for the promotion between 2014 and 2020. In that time, she picked wins over the likes of Kailin Curran, Felice Herrig, Bec Rawlings and Rachael Ostovich. She parted ways with the promotion mid-way through 2020, after coming up short against Amanda Ribas in the final obligation on her latest UFC contract.
Upon entering free agency, VanZant reportedly received interest from several MMA promotions, but ultimately decided to try her hand at bare-knuckle fighting.
“It wasn’t strictly financial for me,” Paige VanZant shared on Unlocking the Cage, discussing her move to BKFC. “I actually had three or four big players when it came to negotiating contracts. So I had four awesome offers to look at. I think everyone kind of expected me to go to Bellator cause that’s where my husband [Austin Vanderford] fights. And of course, that aspect did intrigue me, I’d love to fight for the same organization as him. It makes sense career-wise, I guess. But, the passion in me wanted to go to bare-knuckle.
“I feel like looking at my fight career, yeah I have an equal amount of submission finishes, knockouts, and like a decision,” VanZant added. “So for me, it was more about when you look at my whole fight career, the one thing that stands out above anything is how tough I am and I carried that through every single fight and I think the people who really make it in bare-knuckle boxing are the people who are tough. It’s a sport for only the toughest of the tough. And that’s where I want to show my worth and my value. At the same time, I get to utilize and sharpen what I feel is one of my best weapons and that’s my striking.”