Paige VanZant announces she accepted boxing match with date expected in May or June


Paige VanZant is back.

The UFC and BKFC veteran announced on her podcast that she’s accepted a fight – but she won’t be competing in bare-knuckle or MMA this time around. Instead, VanZant said she’s crossing over to boxing after receiving an intriguing offer.

“I got called by my manager day before yesterday, and I got offered a fight,” VanZant said. “A boxing match, and I took it. I don’t know if I can give all the details, I haven’t signed a contract yet. I accepted the fight.”

She stopped short of announcing her potential opponent, or the promotion she’s working with. But VanZant revealed plans for the fight to take place in either May or June, though full details are still being worked out.

“It was initially, the date they offered me was March 23, which was perfect,” VanZant explained. “Hell yeah, I’ll get one more fight in before I turn 30, because I turn 30 [on] March 26. So I told my manager f*** yeah, I’ll take it. I’ll get back into boxing. I was just really excited. The opportunity was really cool. So it was perfect, eight-week camp, I don’t that long to stress or overthink, or anything like that, so that’s perfect. It turns out it’s not going to be March 23.

“After I accepted it, they’re like, you know what, we’re going to move it to [May or June]. I heard both dates, so once I have the full information, we’ll be able to release it on the podcast. Accepted a boxing match, that will be my next fight. It’s really, really exciting.”

VanZant admitted she expected her return to be in BKFC, where she signed a lucrative deal after leaving the UFC. But the opportunity to compete in boxing was just too good to pass up.

“Gloves on, it’s just straight boxing,” she said. “I did think my next fight would be a bare-knuckle boxing match, but this opportunity came forward, and I was just like f*** it, let’s go. So took a fight.”

BKFC typically allows athletes under contract to pursue outside interests; Mike Perry recently served as a backup fighter for the recent boxing match between Logan Paul and Dillon Danis. VanZant still has fights remaining on her BKFC contract, and she’s still expected to return to the promotion in the future, but it appears her next fight will instead happen in the boxing ring.

In addition to VanZant’s news, her husband Austin Vanderford revealed that he negotiated his release from Bellator MMA, which took place with one fight still remaining on his contract. As of now, he hasn’t booked his next fight, though he requested a spot on the same card as his wife later this year.

Outside of a potential boxing match, Vanderford said his long-term goal is to earn a spot on the UFC roster, an opportunity he fell short of when he won a fight on Dana White’s Contender Series but didn’t receive a contract offer.

“When I set out to fight, I always viewed the UFC as the No. 1 spot, and we’d always gone back and forth,” Vanderford said. “Now I’m to a point where I would really like the opportunity to go fight in the UFC.”


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