After finishing her UFC contract, 26-year-old MMA star Paige VanZant has chosen to sign with the upstart Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships, multiple people with knowledge of contract talks told MMA Fighting. Details of VanZant’s multi-fight deal were not dished out.
BKFC and Bellator were two known suitors vying for VanZant after her departure from the UFC, which came one month after a first-round submission loss to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251. Bellator President Scott Coker told MMA Fighting that VanZant declined an offer with the ViacomCBS-owned promotion, who has a contract with her husband, Austin Vanderford.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, she said she would put off corrective surgery to make a quick turnaround in the cage for a comeback story. VanZant has competed in the octagon both as a Strawweight and as a Flyweight. BKFC’s current currently promotes a women’s division, whose champ, Bec Rawlings, lost to VanZant by KO in the UFC in 2016. This could be what she needs to get her confidence back and turn her career around.