Paige VanZant Joins Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

Paige VanZant

Former UFC fighter Paige VanZant has signed a four-fight, exclusive contract with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship worth over $1 million, with incentives, according to ESPN’s Ariel Heiwani.

The plan is for VanZant, 26, to make her official debut for the promotion sometime in November.

“It was an amazing contract, an amazing opportunity,” VanZant said.

“I also feel like it’s not a move backwards for me. It’s a lateral move to a new opportunity, a new challenge, a brand new sport. I really have sparked a brand new passion for it and especially for striking in general.

“And, on top of that, I feel like I still have this stigma in MMA that I’m just a pretty face, and what a way to prove to people that’s not the way I see myself at all. This is a sport where people probably have the highest rate of getting cut open and having long-term scars is definitely something that I’m not even worried about for me. It’s just the love of competition and I’m really excited to go out there and show off in such an amazing sport.”

While she will be turning her attention, for now, to the BKFC, she has not ruled out a potential return to MMA.

“I don’t know that I am done with MMA,” VanZant said.

“I know momentarily I am. I still have a huge passion for MMA, and I just recently relocated to Florida to train with American Top Team. Obviously they are one of the best MMA gyms in the world. Right now, my sole focus is boxing, but in a few years I could go back to MMA or I could just be making so much doing this bare knuckle boxing that I don’t do anything else.”

“I talked to a lot of different promotions,” VanZant said. “I actually had no idea that I would have so many come with such big offers. I knew I would get the big players in the game, like Bellator or ONE, but I actually had five or six huge, solid promotions that I had to decide on. For me, at this moment in my career, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship was the one that fit best.”