Former UFC star Paige VanZant will make her MMA debut for Bare Knuckle Fighting on February 5 , 2021.
VanZant (0-0 BK) posted on her Instagram on Thursday announcing the signing of the bout agreement for her Feb. 5 fight with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
VanZant (8-4 MMA), will make her promotional debut against Britain Hart.
VanZant transitions over to bare knuckle boxing after a 13-fight MMA career including nine in the UFC. On the heels of three losses in four bouts from 2016 to 2020, VanZant became a free agent and left the promotion to seek offers elsewhere. Instead of moving to another league like Bellator MMA, “12 Gauge” opted to switch sports entirely. As an MMA fighter, VanZant recorded two knockouts, and her most recent came from a head kick against Bec Rawlings. The other came against Kailin Curran, when VanZant put Curran on her back and finished the fight with ground-and-pound. Both of these techniques would be illegal in BKFC, which uses a modified version of boxing rules.
BKFC 16 will take place on Super Bowl weekend in Tampa, Fla., and the venue has not yet been set. The Feb. 5 card will be headlined by VanZant vs. Hart, while a co-featured matchup sees the lightweight strap – 135 pounds – on the line as champ Johnny Bedford looks to defend it against Dat Nguyen. Ulysses Diaz, who authored a three-second knockout at BKFC 14, will also be competing against an undisclosed opponent.