Paige VanZant has some decisions to make regarding her fight career.
After leaving the UFC in free agency, VanZant inked a lucrative multi-fight deal to join the roster at BKFC, where she made her bare-knuckle fighting debut earlier this year.
Unfortunately, the popular 27-year-old has yet to taste success in the sport after dropping a pair of decisions to Britain Hart and Rachael Ostovich in consecutive fights.
While she still has bouts remaining on her contract, BKFC president Dave Feldman says he’s readying to fly to Florida to meet with VanZant and her team to figure out if she will move forward in bare-knuckle competition next or make a return to mixed martial arts.
“We spoke to her management team and honestly it’s up in the air,” Feldman told on Tuesday. “We’re not 100 percent sure she’ll be back with BKFC. It looks like she will but at the end of the day, if her heart and her passion is she wants to give MMA another shot, we may give her that opportunity. I’m not here to hold anybody back.
“I’m actually flying down to Miami tomorrow, we’re going to have a conversation with her management team tomorrow and finalize that and see where that ends up.”
BKFC headlined two events with VanZant, and while both cards earned the promotion a lot of attention, the now 27-year-old athlete hasn’t been able to earn a victory yet through two fights.
“We’d love to have her back,” Feldman said. “But at the end of the day, if her heart’s not in it — and I’m not saying that it’s not — but if her heart’s not in it, and she wants to try something else, who are we to stop her from advancing her career or trying something else new with her career?
“‘Cause we thought we could give her a great opportunity and we did and she’s been great to work with. We’ll know a lot more after this week. I’d love to put her on the KnuckleMania card again as well. So we’ll see what happens with that this week.”
Currently, BKFC is plotting a second KnuckleMania event on Feb. 11, 2022 after the first event with the same name took place earlier this year, which is where VanZant made her debut.
Feldman was clear that nothing has been decided yet regarding VanZant’s future but he won’t stop her if she ultimately decides that she wants to return to MMA rather than engage in another bare-knuckle fight with BKFC.
“She started in MMA,” Feldman said. “Her husband fights for Bellator. If she wants to go fight with her husband … like I said, we’ll see what happens. I know that she definitely wants to go back to MMA. She always did. Even when she came over to bare-knuckle, I knew that was going to come up, and with her not able to taste victory yet in BKFC, maybe she wants to go over there.
“Like I said, we’re going to know a lot more in the next two days. Hopefully she comes back, and if not, we’ll wish her the best.”