Paige VanZant Earmarked For BKFC Debut On November 14th
By Ross Markey
Former UFC flyweight and strawweight contender, Paige ’12 Gauge’ VanZant seems to be inline for her bare-knuckle bow this November, following her transition from the Octagon to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships in August.
The 26-year-old put pen to paper on a multi-fight, multi-million contract with the David Feldman led promotion, following a six-year stint with the UFC. Opposing an offer from Scott Coker’s led Bellator MMA, the Oregon native will make the somewhat surprising move to bare-knuckle fighting, following the scoring of an 8-5 professional mixed martial arts record.
Speaking with MMA Fighting recently, Feldman explained that plans are in place for VanZant to make her promotional bow on November 14th – as she continues to recover from an illness, along with husband, Bellator grappling ace, Austin Vanderford who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“It should be the debut of Paige (VanZant),” Feldman explained. “I know she was sick recently, so we’re going to see if she’s going to be able to get back into training, or if we have to push it.”
“That will also be Jim Alers vs. Luis Palomino and Johnny Bedford vs. Dat Nguyen. So we’re going to have at least two world championship fights on that card and I think we’re also going to have a women’s championship fight on that card as well. It’s going to be a tremendous couple month for us.”
Making her final mixed martial arts appearance, VanZant featured at UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ in July – dropping an armbar defeat to streaking fan-favourite, Amanda Ribas early in the opening frame. Prior to the defeat, VanZant had managed to return to winning ways at UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January of last year – securing an armbar victory of her own opposite Rachael Ostovich.
As of yet, an opponent for VanZant’s targeted November debut has yet to be determined by the promotion.