Paige VanZant has suffered her fair share of tough injuries during her MMA career, so it’s understandable that the prospect of cuts and facial damage in her bare knuckle boxing debut is something that doesn’t especially phase her.
VanZant (8-5 MMA) signed for BKFC last August after a six-year UFC stint. After starting her time in the world’s largest MMA promotion with three straight wins, VanZant struggled to find footing in a move to flyweight, and to find success against the strawweight elite. Her last four years in the UFC were also spent battling a series of long running injuries.
Speaking to MMAFighting ahead of her BKFC debut against Britain Hart this weekend, VanZant said the average fight fan is blinded by the bloody affairs that take place in bare-knuckle fighting.
“I think the hard thing is the regular fan, not necessarily educated in martial arts or educated in the medical field. They see blood and immediately see it as a terrible injury,” VanZant said. “Whereas for me, I would much rather be cut open than break my arm or break my knuckle or tear my shoulder or tear my knee.”
“Those are all things that take a very long time to heal whereas a laceration, I got cut in my face in one fight — one you can barely tell, and two I heard statistically that scars make you more attractive. It’s not a big deal. Those heal and you just continue on. Faces heal really well, your body heals itself really well.”
After her contract with the UFC expired, VanZant did consider signing for Bellator, where her husband Austin Vanderford competes. However, BKFC gave VanZant an offer she couldn’t turn down and 26-year-old signed a four-fight deal with the promotion.
BKFC KnuckleMania takes place this Saturday, February 5th. Outside of the headliner between VanZant and Hart, the 11-fight card is expected to feature former UFC talents Johnny Bedford and Chris Leben. You can order the PPV for $39.99 on Fite TV.
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