It was earlier reported that UFC star Paige VanZant rejected an offer from Bellator, and has joined Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship after finishing her contract with the UFC. The 26-year old superstar had earlier taken to social media on Wednesday to reveal that she had signed a new contract.
Nobody could have thought that when Paige VanZant said that she was “about to change the game,” she would reject Bellator to join BKFC. VanZant was a top contender inside UFC at one point, with three back to back victories to her name. However, the hype train was derailed after Paige VanZant suffered a unanimous decision loss against Rose Namajunas. VanZant’s last fight came at UFC 250, where she suffered a submission loss against Amanda Ribas.
Why did Paige VanZant leave UFC?
Despite the last loss, Paige VanZant is a big name in the fighting world. VanZant was on the winning track before losing to Amanda Ribas at UFC 250. VanZant picked up an impressive submission victory against Rachael Ostovich. While everybody was thinking that Bellator would be the next step for Paige VanZant, it was interesting when the news broke that she has joined Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
In a recent conversation with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Paige VanZant opened up about her move from UFC and revealed why she joined BKFC over two of the best MMA promotions in the form of UFC and the Bellator.
Paige VanZant says she wants to prove she's more than "just a pretty face" by transitioning from MMA to bare-knuckle boxing.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 12, 2020
“I feel like I still have this stigma in MMA that I’m just a pretty face and what a way to prove to people that’s not the way I see myself at all. This is a sport where people probably have the highest rate of getting cut open, and having long term scars is definitely something that I’m not even worried about for me.” VanZant said.
Former Bellator Champion Ben Askren also reacted to the news, with other UFC fighter sharing their opinions on VanZant leaving the UFC to join BKFC.
I don’t like this reason 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️Prove to people 🤷🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️ I believe the only person you need to prove it’s you but it is what it is Thoughts? 💭💭 https://t.co/Wgb3Z6UOZt
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) August 12, 2020
— Funky (@Benaskren) August 12, 2020
It will be exciting to see Paige VanZant in this new role. It will be interesting to see how she fares inside BKFC, and how will it affect her future return to UFC, if she decides to jump back inside the octagon in the future.