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Paige VanZant Opens Up About Future Return to BKFC

LockerRoom Team
31 December 2023

Paige VanZant, the former UFC veteran turned bare-knuckle fighter, is set to make a comeback to the ring, though the exact date remains uncertain. Having been absent from competition for over two years, VanZant was initially slated to return in August 2022. However, her BKFC (Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship) bout was abruptly canceled just days before her scheduled departure for London, leaving her in a vulnerable state.

The fallout from the cancellation took a toll on VanZant's mental health, compounded by the criticism she faced despite BKFC's decision to call off the fight. In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, VanZant expressed the frustration she experienced, particularly after putting in extensive effort to prepare for the anticipated match.

Reflecting on the lead-up to the canceled fight, VanZant shared, "I worked so hard. I was so excited for this fight. But it was also a big accomplishment as a couple to say we got [my husband Austin Vanderford] ready for his fight." The disappointment deepened as she received the news while attending her husband's fight, scheduled just days apart from hers.

VanZant further detailed the challenges of readjusting after the cancellation, including uncertainties about the next fight camp and conflicting plans to visit family in Alaska. Despite being active in her career outside the cage, running a popular OnlyFans page, constructing a new house in Florida, and launching a podcast with her husband, the desire to return to professional fighting remains.

Presently, VanZant is relishing her time in the gym without the pressure of an imminent fight. She emphasized the importance of rediscovering her passion and spark for the sport, emphasizing that she wants to compete for the love of it rather than external factors.

At 29, VanZant acknowledges that she has ample time to continue her fighting career. While she remains open to returning to MMA in the future, her current focus is on BKFC. The timing of her return is uncertain, with VanZant expressing a desire to improve her skills and enjoy the training without the immediate pressure of signing a fight contract.

Regarding her future in bare-knuckle boxing, VanZant affirmed her commitment to BKFC, stating, "I love bare-knuckle boxing. I’ve now gone 10 rounds in bare-knuckle boxing and I’m searching for that victory. I’m searching for a lot of things in bare-knuckle boxing that I haven’t accomplished, and it will be with BKFC again."

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