Paige VanZant Hyped for Bare Knuckle FC Debut

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Former MMA beauty in defiant mood as she dismisses concerns over facial trauma coming into her first BKFC fight against Britain Hart.

Paige VanZant Shows No Fear Heading to BKFC Debut

Former MMA flyweight and part-time model Paige VanZant has dismissed fears that her move to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships could spell bad news for her much-discussed good looks. The 26-year-old parted ways with the UFC last year after expressing dissatisfaction with the pay received by professional fighters in the league. 

All eyes are on VanZant right now, and her meeting with Britain Hart will be the headlining event of BKFC’s Knucklemania pay-per-view on February 5 in Tampa, Florida. Hart is expected to be a formidable opponent for VanZant’s first outing, coming to the meet after an emphatic win against Randine Elkholm back in November. To place a bet on the outcome, check this page for Interac casinos offering odds.

‘Scars make you more attractive’

VanZant has been defiant against the naysayers since her decision to make the career switch. Perhaps tired of being judged for her looks over her skills in the ring, she has shrugged off concerns about facial injuries from bare-knuckle fighting.

Speaking in an interview, VanZant stated that she is more concerned about broken bones than broken skin. Playing down the fears for her looks, she claimed that she’s received facial injuries before and they have healed so well that they are invisible. She also added that she has it on good authority that scars make a person more attractive.

Whether or not this is true, it is clear that VanZant is unconcerned about getting a few battle scars. There does appear to be some empirical evidence that bare-knuckle boxing is actually safer than MMA when it comes to broken hands and head trauma. With serial concussions being a real concern for fighters, doubtless this fact is of some comfort to VanZant.

Paige VanZant is More than a pretty face

With a face like hers, it was inevitable that VanZant would be courted by media beyond the UFC. She has competed in Dancing with the Stars and appeared in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit spread. Those opportunities have been good for her public profile, but she is sure that they have also contributed to many taking her less seriously as a fighter.

Nonetheless, she insists that the move to BKFC has nothing to do with proving herself. Neither is it because her career in MMA was coming to an end – indeed, when her contract with UFC expired the offers were piling up. Bellator, where VanZant’s husband Austin Vanderford competes, was a strong contender. But despite expressing admiration for the way Bellator and admitting that she was tempted to sign with them, the pull of a new challenge won out.

Citing several factors that inspired her decision, VanZant enthused about the passion she feels for BKFC, as well as admitting that they offered her a deal that would have been hard to turn down. Hardly surprising, since pay was the biggest bone of contention between her and the UFC.

It is hard to argue with VanZant when she explains her choice, especially when she points out that she has broken her arm three times with MMA moves. She contends that she would be much less vulnerable to fractures using a straight boxing style, and she may well have a point. 

Excited for her first fight

Neither does VanZant seem to be nervous about her debut against the intimidating Britain Hart. Speaking enthusiastically about the matchup, she appeared pleased to be facing a challenging opponent. 

One person who doubts whether VanZant will be so happy after the fight is Bec Rawlings. A Bare Knuckle FC veteran who made the opposite move when she signed with Bellator, Rawlings expects that VanZant’s BKFC career will be short-lived. Tune in on February 5 to find out who is right. 

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