Paige VanZant was originally scheduled to make her return to bare-knuckle competition in August, but her fight was cancelled, and the expectation was that she would be rebooked before the end of 2022.
Unfortunately, no fight was ever rescheduled, and VanZant has kept busy lately with endeavors outside of fighting, including a highly lucrative personal website and OnlyFans page. According to BKFC president Dave Feldman, VanZant is invited back to compete for the bare-knuckle promotion again with a possible date in early 2023, though he’s still not entirely sure it will happen.
“We were talking about putting her on KnuckleMania [in February], and we’re going to be talking to her manager again next week,” Feldman told MMA Fighting. “We’ll see what happens with that. I’d love to have her back if she wants to come back and fight and test herself one more time.
“She’s doing other things and she’s doing very, very well at those and making a lot of money. So I don’t know. If she wants to come back, she’s welcome to, but we don’t know for sure if she’s coming back. She does have a place her. We’ll see shortly.”
VanZant initially joined the BKFC roster in 2020 after inking a lucrative multi-fight deal following her exit from the UFC.
She suffered back-to-back decision losses in her first two fights with the promotion with her last outing coming against fellow UFC veteran Rachael Ostovich in July 2021. VanZant was then expected to clash with Charisa Sigala in August but as previously mentioned, the fight was scrapped and never rebooked.
While VanZant will be offered another opportunity, Feldman admits with the money she’s making outside the sport that he can’t say for certain if she’ll fight for BKFC again.
“There certainly is a chance [she won’t fight for BKFC again],” Feldman said. “She’s doing very well. She’s very successful at her other path that she followed right now. Financially, she’s doing very, very well.
“Yes, is there a chance? There’s certainly a chance [she doesn’t fight again]. I don’t think Paige with her competitive nature wants to go out like this so I do expect to see her back but you never know.”
While it’s unknown how much money VanZant earns from her private website and her OnlyFans page, the 28-year-old fighter previously told MMA Fighting she could retire immediately and never work another day in her life.
Despite that fact, she’s always been adamant about continuing to compete in her fight career, although there’s just no exact timeline when that might happen.
“Theoretically I could [retire],” VanZant told MMA Fighting in July. “I don’t have to fight another day in my life. It’s an athlete thing, and some people wouldn’t understand it. If you ask LeBron James why do you still play basketball? You don’t need to. Why do all these NBA players, NFL players get to a point in their career like Tom Brady — he doesn’t need to play football anymore, but why does he? Because he’s the greatest of all time, because he wants to continue to compete. It’s what he does. It’s in his blood.
“I don’t compare myself to those people and their greatness, but definitely to their drive to want to continue to be successful. I feel like that’s a part of me as well.”