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Paige VanZant reveals how she got into Power Slap, says BKFC hurts more than Power Slap

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon06 July 2024

Paige VanZant, known for her career in MMA and bare-knuckle boxing, found herself unexpectedly competing in Power Slap after receiving a call from UFC CEO Dana White. The conversation began when VanZant casually mentioned to her manager that she would consider participating in the slap-fighting league. This quickly led to a contract in her inbox and an opportunity to compete in Las Vegas just two weeks later.

Reflecting on the swift decision, VanZant told MMA Fighting, "We were at lunch talking about Power Slap and how crazy it was. I said, ‘Yeah, I would do it,’ and my manager was like, ‘No.’ I insisted, ‘No, seriously, I would.’ Shortly after, I talked to Dana on the phone, and I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ I got the contract that same week and found out they wanted me on the Vegas card in two weeks."

VanZant emerged victorious in her debut match, winning by unanimous decision against Christine Wolmarans. The scoring in slap-fighting mirrors MMA, with each participant getting one slap per round. Although she didn’t achieve a knockout, VanZant's performance, including dropping Wolmarans twice, made it an easy decision for the judges.

Initially, VanZant wanted to experience being slapped first but ended up delivering the opening blow. She described the unique sensation of standing with her hands behind her back, preparing to absorb the slap. "It was weird to stand there with your hands behind your back, and I just stood there praying, let me eat this," VanZant said. "Once I took the first one, I had all the confidence in the world."

Despite the unusual nature of slap-fighting, VanZant found the experience less painful compared to her previous encounters in bare-knuckle boxing. "It was more of a sting than anything," she explained. "When I compare it to taking a punch in bare-knuckle boxing, it’s entirely different. I felt present the entire time, never dazed."

ALSO READ | VIDEO: Paige VanZant makes Powerslap debut with a win

Following her match, VanZant expressed interest in returning to Power Slap. She hasn't yet had discussions with White about another match but remains open to the idea. "We haven’t had any conversations yet, but I just enjoyed the whole process so much," she said. "The whole week was so much more relaxed than prior to an MMA fight or a boxing match. I don't know why I wouldn’t do it again."

In addition to potentially returning to Power Slap, VanZant is looking forward to a rematch in boxing against Elle Brooke and has one more fight remaining on her BKFC contract. With various opportunities ahead, VanZant's combat sports career remains dynamic and full of possibilities.

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