Paige VanZant suffers brutal knockdown but comes back for split draw with Elle Brooke

Paige VanZant got the shock of a lifetime after she suffered a stunning knockdown in the first round of her fight against Elle Brooke in the main event at Misfits Boxing 15.

Despite coming into the fight as the overwhelming favorite, VanZant ate a huge right hand that sat her down on the canvas. VanZant eventually recovered and managed to storm back in the later rounds, especially with Brooke running on fumes.

Still, the adult entertainer turned boxer stayed in the fight from the first minute until the last with the judges ultimately scoring the fight as a split draw. One judge gave the fight 48-46 to Brooke, a second judge went 48-46 for VanZant and the third official had it 47-47.

In the end, Brooke retains her Misfits middleweight title with VanZant already expecting a rematch in the near future.

“Honestly I said it would be a tough fight the whole camp,” VanZant said after her boxing debut. “I knew how tough she was. I took the fight for a reason. I was excited. I watched her past fights. I knew it’d be tough. It is what it is. It sets up the perfect rematch.

“I signed a multi-fight contract for a reason. It looks like we’re going to do it one more time, I think in Dubai it sounds like.”

As for Brooke, she may have walked into the fight as the incumbent champion but with all her past experience coming against social influencers and reality TV stars, she was a heavy underdog against a UFC and BKFC veteran like VanZant. She didn’t let any of that affect her in the fight as Brooke ended up scoring the only knockdown before going to a split draw with VanZant.

“It’s one of those things where you have to rewatch it,” Brooke said about the decision. “Because in there, you’re getting hit but you’re also hitting. I don’t think I’m experienced enough to think yeah, I’m 100 percent winning this but with the knockdown, I could see me winning it but I have to watch it back. I was just saying to Paige we get a big money rematch! This is perfect!”

As the professional fighter, VanZant showed a lot more discipline early with a lead jab and combinations as she looked to overwhelm her less experienced opponent. The momentum shifted in a hurry after Brooke uncorked a huge right hand that blasted VanZant in the chin and put her down on the canvas.

VanZant got back to her feet to make the 10 count but clearly she was rattled from the unexpected knockdown.

As the second round got started, VanZant knew she had to make a comeback and that’s exactly what she delivered with a huge shot that snapped Brooke’s head around. Brooke ended up grabbing onto VanZant in the clinch to slow down the pace and give herself a moment or two to recover.

With her corner insisting that Brooke was losing steam, VanZant really started to unleash power punches in every combination. She was leading with a left jab and then a big right hand behind it as Brooke struggled to keep up in those exchanges.

Just before the third round ended, Brooke showed that she still had some pop behind her punches as she cracked VanZant with a pair of right hands to keep the former UFC fighter honest.

VanZant’s volume continued to serve as her best offense but she still had to be wary because every time she got a little too aggressive, Brooke fired back with a hard shot of her own. A slick inside uppercut from VanZant mashed Brooke in the nose as blood started to dribble down her face.

With two minutes remaining, VanZant’s corner urged to leave it all in the ring and Brooke was really starting to slow down. The fighters continued trading blows, punch for punch until the final bell rang.

While the result almost certainly leads to a rematch, VanZant has to walk away somewhat disappointed as the professional fighter going to a draw with an influencer even if this was her professional boxing debut. VanZant has promised that she expects to return for another bare-knuckle fight in the future as well but now it looks like she’ll stay focused on boxing until she clashes with Brooke again later this year.

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