by Dane McGuire
UFC veteran turned All Elite Wrestling star Paige VanZant could be about to face her final opponent in bare knuckle competition.
Bare Knuckle FC president David Felman announced recently VanZant, a former UFC star, will be part of the marquee bout for a BKFC event July 9 in London. The event will take place at the Alexandra Palace. An opponent for VanZant is yet to be named.
VanZant has a three fight deal with the promotion and is 0-2 after decision losses to former UFC fighter Rachael Ostovich and Britain Hart in VanZant’s BKFC debut.
Since the fight with Ostovich, VanZant has made sporadic appearances in All Elite Wrestling along with various members of MMA super gym American Top Team and its founder Dan Lambert.
VanZant has since officially signed with AEW as mentioned previously.
Prior to announcing VanZant as part of BKFC’s London plans, even Feldman was unsure of where she might go next. She has also expressed interest in returning to MMA with Bellator.
“We’d love to have her back,” Feldman said previously. “But at the end of the day, if her heart’s not in it — and I’m not saying that it’s not — but if her heart’s not in it, and she wants to try something else, who are we to stop her from advancing her career or trying something else new with her career?
“She started in MMA,” Feldman said. “Her husband fights for Bellator. If she wants to go fight with her husband … like I said, we’ll see what happens. I know that she definitely wants to go back to MMA. She always did. Even when she came over to bare-knuckle, I knew that was going to come up, and with her not able to taste victory yet in BKFC, maybe she wants to go over there.
VanZant signed with BKFC in August 2020 after six years under with the UFC, going 5-4.
Outside of combat sports, VanZant has also competed on Food Network’s Chopped, Dancing with the Stars. VanZant has also come under fire for being open about making more money from posting content on social media than from her fighting career.
VanZant said in late March 2022:
“But I know in my heart that I will never fight for (the UFC) again, just because they don’t pay enough. I don’t see the benefit of going back to the UFC. Right now, I’m fortunate enough, I built myself up to a specific place and I can take that and use it wherever I go.”