Report | Paige VanZant in “talks” with BKFC

Paige VanZant
Image: Paige VanZant on Instagram

Paige VanZant, now a free agent after a lengthy stint with the UFC, is reportedly in preliminary talks with bare knuckle fighting promotion BKFC.

News of the discussions between VanZant and BKFC were first reported by Mike Russell on Twitter.

“Hearing Paige VanZant is close to finalizing a deal with @bareknucklefc.”

Eric Kowal of MyMMANews.com, who also works for BKFC, subsequently clarified that, although preliminary talks are underway, a deal is a long way off.

“There are talks, nothing close yet,” Kowal wrote, clarifying on the talks between VanZant and BKFC.

“I can confirm there are talks,” he added, replying to Russell. “I work for the company. Just asked [BKFC President] David [Feldman] about your Tweet cause he asked me 2 weeks ago for thoughts on possibly signing her. Today he said there are talks but nothing close. Like you said ‘we’ll see’ but this is latest.”

Paige VanZant fulfilled the final obligation of her latest UFC contract at UFC 251, when she was submitted by Amanda Ribas. Ahead of the fight, she made no secret of her intention to test free agency.

“There’s a lot of amazing organizations out there,” VanZant told the South China Morning Post in April. “If there wasn’t, I would never be testing free agency. I do honestly have a really good relationship with the UFC. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. The hard thing is, other than my compensation, I am very happy with the UFC. So it’s not going to be as crazy as a negotiation process as a lot of people think. There’s a lot to talk about, but I think it’s going to be a fairly easy conversation.

“Change is very hard, but I’m looking for the best opportunity for my future and I don’t know what that is,” VanZant added. “I think it’s going to take negotiations with the UFC and negotiations with other organizations to know who’s going to offer me a brighter future. It might come down to other factors outside just a dollar figure. It’s really about who’s going to propel me to the best of their ability.”

Where do you think Paige VanZant should spend the next phase of her career?