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Paige VanZant bails on MMA, inks new deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight sensation Paige VanZant, previously anointed the “It” girl of mixed martial arts (MMA), has said goodbye to cage fighting to try her luck with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).

That’s according to ESPN, which claims the deal is “worth over a million dollars.”

And while it sounds like a risky endeavor for the part-time model, the chances of “12 Gauge” snapping her arm for the 17th time are fairy remote. Breaking her face, however, is a very real possibility as a result of gloveless combat.

The 8-5 VanZant, still just 26 years old, finished up her contract with UFC last July on “Fight Island,” falling to Amanda Ribas by way of first-round armbar. There was a contract on the table from Bellator MMA but according to MMA Fighting, that offer was declined.

BKFC is no stranger to former UFC strawweights, putting pen to paper for Bec Rawlings back in early 2018. That was roughly two years after “Rowdy” got starched by VanZant at UFC on FOX 21 in Vancouver.

A rematch seems like a no-brainer at this point.