Former UFC fighter Paige VanZant joins Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

Paige VanZant has found a new home.

The former UFC fighter says she has signed a new four-fight, exclusive contract with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

Her debut for BKFC has not been set yet, but the current plan is for her to compete in November.

“It was a great contract, a great opportunity,” VanZant told ESPN. “I also feel like it’s not a setback for me. It’s a lateral move to a new opportunity, a new challenge, a brand new sport. I’ve really created a whole new passion for it and it’s particularly 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 it’s not the way I see myself at all. This is a sport where people probably have the highest rate of getting open and having scars in the long run is definitely something I did not even worry about.It’s just the love of competition and I’m really excited to go out and show in such a great sport. “

The total of the deal is worth more than $ 1 million, with incentives added. It represents a significant increase from what she did in the UFC.

The 26-year-old VanZant completed her UFC contract in July after losing to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251. She left the organization with a 5-4 record in the Octagon and an 8-5 pro record. She has never participated in bare knuckle fighting like pro boxing.

VanZant has not delayed a return to MMA.

“I do not know I’m done with MMA,” VanZant said. “I know it’s the moment. I still have a great passion for MMA, and I recently moved to Florida to train with American Top Team. Of course, they are one of the best MMA gyms in the world. On this currently my only focus is boxing, but in a few years I could go back to MMA or I could just do so much to these bare knuckle boxes that I would do nothing else. “

One of the most popular fighters in MMA, VanZant, who reached the finals of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in 2016, was recently outspoken about her pay in the UFC, claiming that she made more on the reality show than in her combine entire UFC careers. She also said she could earn more post on Instagram than in one UFC fight on her old deal.

Sources say the promotion did not lead to serious talks re-signing her to make her final fight. VanZant spoke with other MMA organizations after the Ribas fight before joining BKFC.

“I’ve talked to a lot of different promotions,” VanZant said. “I really had no idea I would come up with so many great 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 “For me, at this point in my career, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship was the one that suited me best.”