There were a number of reasons why Paige VanZant decided to make the transition to bare knuckle boxing.
It was announced on Wednesday that the former UFC women’s flyweight had signed a multi-fight deal with Bare Knuckle FC.
Many were surprised with the move, especially given the brutal nature of bare knuckle fighting which tends to lead to plenty of cuts and facial damage.
But that is one of the very reasons why she decided to go ahead with the move among other factors.
“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.”
VanZant Spoke To A Number Of Promotions
It was notably revealed that VanZant declined an offer with Bellator to sign with BKFC.
However, she was speaking to a number of other promotions ever since she completed the final fight of her UFC deal last month.
In the end, BKFC was what made the most sense for her.
“I talked to a lot of different promotions,” VanZant added. “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.”
What do you make of VanZant’s decision?