Paige VanZant signs with Bare Knuckle FC: “An amazing opportunity”

"I still have this stigma in MMA that I’m just a pretty face..."

In an unexpected turn of events, former UFC star Paige VanZant has now signed with Bare Knuckle FC. It was just recently that she made a post on social media, saying that she had signed a new contract, though without divulging what promotion it was. That was later revealed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani to  be the somewhat controversial Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

“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.

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“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.”

VanZant first entered the UFC in 2014, winning over Kailin Curran via TKO. She then lined up two additional wins before facing Rose Namajunas in the main event at UFC Fight Night 80. The fight almost went five full rounds, though VanZant would be forced to tap to  a rear naked choke in the final round. FOllowing that loss Vanzant would go 2-3 in the UFC; struggling against the elite of the strawweight division.

As of now there are no announcements regarding VanZant’s BKFC debut. She currently holds a KO win in the UFC over current BKFC champ Bec Rawlings, however, and a rematch may be in the cards for future match ups.

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