Paige VanZant and her husband Austin Vanderford recently appeared on the Punchin’ In’ podcast to discuss a number of issues regarding their respective careers. On that podcast, current bare knuckle boxer VanZant spoke about the chances she may return to the sport of MMA.
In doing so, VanZant revealed that joining up with Bellator, where Vanderford competes, would be extremely appealing.
“That’s always on the back of my mind. I would love for us to fight for the same organization,” she said (ht Sportskeeda). “I would love to fight for Bellator, they’ve treated him really well, especially now that he’s fought his way up to a title… I feel like it was good that we weren’t in the same organization because they couldn’t build him as a star by himself. He would be always kind of be in my shadow and I felt like now that I’m not with Bellator, he got to build himself up to a title shot all by himself.”
Vanderford improved his pro record to 11-0 last time out at Bellator 259 with a win over Fabian Edwards. That win has set Vanderford up with a likely middleweight title shot against current champ Gegard Mousasi.
Things inside the ring/cage haven’t been going as well for VanZant as of late. Last year she shocked many by announcing that she was joining Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships after fighting out of her UFC deal.
With BKFC VanZant is 0-2 after decision losses to Britain Hart and, most recently, Rachael Ostovich (a fighter she submitted back in the UFC).
Before earning her release from the UFC, VanZant amassed a 5-4 record with the company. She debuted in the Octagon in 2014 with a Fight of the Night winning TKO finish of Kailin Curran. She then beat Felice Herrig and Alex Chambers.
After that three-fight win streak she booked a main event opposite Rose Namajunas in 2015. She lost that bout by submission, but rebounded with a sensational switch kick KO of Bec Rodriguez.
Since then injuries plagued VanZant, as she lost three of her last four fights with the company. Her last MMA fight was a submission loss to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251.