Paige VanZant isn’t worried about the damage she may sustain from fighting sans gloves in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
VanZant has spent the majority of her professional combat sports career in the UFC. Yet, on Wednesday it was revealed that she signed with BKFC. The news shocked many but for the 26-year-old she says the move makes sense. VanZant also wants to break the stigma that she is just a pretty face.
“It was an amazing contract, an amazing opportunity,” VanZant told ESPN. “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.”
In free agency, Paige VanZant says multiple promotions gave her solid offers. But, she thought BKFC was the best fit for her.
Although she is locked into BKFC for multiple fights, VanZant isn’t ruling out a return to MMA down the line.
“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.”
Are you surprised Paige VanZant signed with BKFC?