Fan have been anxiously awaiting the debut of Paige VanZant in Bare Knuckle Boxing. With that debut rapidly approaching, she previews this massive fight, and explains why she chose to go the bare knuckle route.
It came as a bit of a shock when PVZ decided to sign with BKFC. It was not exactly surprising that she was testing free agency after fighting out her UFC contract, but it was expected that she would wind up in Bellator with her husband.
Yet reports emerged that she would be making the move to bare knuckle boxing, and is not set for her debut. She will be taking on 4-4-3 boxer Britain Hart in February, during a PPV event that has been dubbed “Knucklemania.”
#Knucklemania will be the most stacked BKFC event in history & is going down on Fri. Feb 5th!
— Bare Knuckle FC (@bareknucklefc) January 7, 2021
Paige VanZant Moved To BKFC For Longevity
While some would look at bare knuckle boxing as a gruesome and brutal sport, Paige VanZant does not feel that way. In fact, she explained in a recent interview that she thinks this new move will actually help her fight for longer.
The way she explains it, while she may get cut, most of the damage she receives in BKFC will be cosmetic. So she hopes that this will allow her to actually fight longer, maybe even making it back to the UFC one day.
“Being only 26 years old, I do feel like this moment in BKFC is only going to make my career longer. It’s going to give me more years to keep competing,” PVZ explained.
“Although people see it as a barbaric sport, there was a study that was put out that says bare knuckle boxing is actually less dangerous than MMA. You get less concussions, less broken hands, less long-term injuries.
“So I think it’s just going to elongate my career. It’s going to go off and show off everything I can do in boxing, make my striking that much better, win a belt here, and see what happens.”
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Origins Of The Naked Photo Shoots
Around the middle of 2020, Paige VanZant was turning heads with her unusual photos on Instagram. A series of pictures were uploaded of her and her husband, Austin Vanderford posing naked and doing various things.
According to Paige, this started out as a spur of the moment thing. Yet after some convincing, she talked her man into doing more of these pictures, as a way to lighten the mood during a dark time in the world.
“As husbands and wives do, we’re just naked and walking around our house, doing our thing,” PVZ explained.
“He decided, being an athlete he’s crazy, he’s like ‘I’m going to do pull-ups,’ and I go out to the garage and he’s doing pull-ups bare naked, and I’m like ‘I have an idea!’
“So I go get the tripod out, and we staged that photo. Then it just kind of became a thing, and I was like let’s just do it. It took a lot of convincing on my part to him, to keep doing those photos.
“It was supposed to be fun. It was such a dark time, the beginning of this coronavirus pandemic. (We were) trying to have fun. We’re married and like to be naked I guess.”
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Plans For 2021
Despite initial concerns from her friends and family, Paige VanZant is set to maker her BKFC debut on February 5th. She will be taking on Britain Hart, in a bout that seems primed for action.
However if she gets past Hart, Paige wants to keep a busy schedule in 2021. She has been rife with injuries for a while, but now that she is happy and healthy, she hopes to make this year one of her busiest yet.
“I’d love to get like three or four fights in,” PVZ said. “Four is reaching of course, because you never know if you get cut open, and fight camps, and whatever.
“But at least three. I would love to fight as much as possible. I truly feel like this is a sport where I’m going to have that opportunity to fight more often.”
Time will tell if Paige VanZant can keep the busy schedule that she is hoping for this year. The first test of course, will be getting the win in her BKFC debut next month.