Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships CEO David Feldman recently spoke to MMA Fighting about the most well-known fighter on their roster, Paige VanZant. And Feldman admitted that, after VanZant went 0-2 in bare knuckle boxing, he’s unsure if we’ll ever see her in that sport again.
“We spoke to her management team and honestly it’s up in the air,” he said. “We’re not 100 percent sure she’ll be back with BKFC. It looks like she will but at the end of the day, if her heart and her passion is she wants to give MMA another shot, we may give her that opportunity. I’m not here to hold anybody back.”
“We’d love to have her back,” Feldman continued. “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?
“‘Cause we thought we could give her a great opportunity and we did and she’s been great to work with. We’ll know a lot more after this week. I’d love to put her on the KnuckleMania card again as well. So we’ll see what happens with that this week.”
Recently VanZant declared that she would be interested in fighting for Bellator, a promotion where her husband—Austin Vanderford—is the current number one contender for Gegard Mousasi’s middleweight title.
“Her husband fights for Bellator. If she wants to go fight with her husband … like I said, we’ll see what happens,” said Feldman. “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.
“Like I said, we’re going to know a lot more in the next two days. Hopefully she comes back, and if not, we’ll wish her the best.”
VanZant joined BKFC in 2020 after a six-year run with the UFC. During that time she amassed a 5-3 record with wins over Bec Rawlings and Rachael Ostovich (both of whom have appeared in BKFC). Her most recent MMA fight was a submission loss to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251.
Her debut bare knuckle fight was at BKFC Knucklemania in February. At that event she was defeated by Britain Hart by unanimous decision. At BKFC 19 in July she lost to Ostovich, also by unanimous decision.