Paige VanZant isnâ€™t going anywhere.
After a disappointing Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut, where she lost to Britain Hart via unanimous decision, VanZant isnâ€™t backing down from the challenge of the new sport.
â€œImmediately after the fight, she said I want to do this again. That says a lot about her as a fighter. So weâ€™re not looking to cut ties with the Paige VanZant brand at any time in the near future,â€ BKFC President and CEO David Feldman told Empire Sports Media.
The former UFC star looked tentative at the start of the fight, with Hart taking the action to her. But Feldman saw promising signs in the latter rounds that made him convinced VanZant has what it takes to become successful in the BKFC.
â€œShe kinda came alive in the fourth and fifth round. And that was encouraging for me. She showed a lot of grit and determination, so weâ€™ll probably bring her back in the summertime, early to mid-summer,â€ Feldman said. â€œSheâ€™s very interested in coming back.â€
VanZant told Sirius XM show Knuckle Up Radio that she wants to get back into the BKFC ring in April.
Feldman, however, has yet to determine who will be her next opponent.
â€œWeâ€™ll have to sit down to talk about whoâ€™s next for her and who makes sense. She didnâ€™t get fed any easy win her on her first fight. And it showed as she came out with a loss. Itâ€™s gonna be the same way moving forward. Thatâ€™s how weâ€™re building the sport,â€ Feldman said.
A rematch with Hart is on the table, but it depends on some variables, according to Feldman.
â€œIt could be an option [Britain Hart rematch]. Weâ€™ll see if people will be intrigued by that. Weâ€™ll see what happens,â€ he said.
Another intriguing matchup could be against former BKFC champion Bec Rawlings who is now with Bellator. Rawlings, who lost to VanZant in UFC before, said back in December that sheâ€™s open for a rematch. In the same interview, she also added that VanZant would have a tougher time in BKFC than in UFC. And it showed in VanZantâ€™s loss to one of Rawlingsâ€™ earlier victims in BKFC.
â€œThatâ€™s also an option (Bec Rawlings) as well as a couple of ladies. With Bec, she left on good terms. We have a good relationship, and thereâ€™s a strong possibility that she could be back, and that could be against Page,â€ Feldman said.
VanZant, however, isnâ€™t too keen on a Rawlings rematch prior to her BKFC debut.
â€œOf course, she wants to fight me again. I knocked her out with a head kick the last time we fought. [Iâ€™m] really interested in fighting people who I havenâ€™t fight yet or havenâ€™t beaten. So if she wants to come back to BKFC, thatâ€™s totally fine, and if the matchup makes sense, but Iâ€™m in Bare Knuckle Boxing working my way in the division for a title. And I just donâ€™t want to fight people because they want to call me out,â€ VanZant told Empire Sports Media ahead of her fight against Hart.
But after losing to Hart, VanZant could have a change of heart.
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