Paige VanZant will be making her bare knuckle boxing debut this evening (Fri., Feb. 5, 2021) at BKFC 16: “KnuckleMania” live on FITE.tv PPV, but the former UFC star is already thinking about a potential career in professional wrestling.
VanZant, who fought in UFC as recent as last July, is hoping to create an even larger following as the newest member of the BKFC roster. “12 Gauge” enjoyed a somewhat meteoric rise to stardom early into her UFC career through memorable Octagon performances and a lucrative stint on “Dancing with the Stars,” but she’s looking to take her popularity to new heights in 2021.
It all starts with her BKFC debut later tonight at “KnuckleMania” when she squares off with bare knuckle veteran Britain Hart in the main event. If all goes well it could eventually put VanZant in line to make her long-awaited transition to professional wrestling, more specifically World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
“I get asked about WWE a lot and I do feel like it’s something I would be very good at because I kind of have the best of both worlds; I was a dancer where I was used to the entertainment and the showmanship side of it and the combat sports side obviously goes into the WWE,” said VanZant in a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet. “You know, I don’t think that it’s something that I could do both (Bare Knuckle FC and pro wrestling) at the same time. I feel like I would want to do that 100%, so maybe it’s something that after I’m done fighting in a cage and in a ring that maybe I’ll go over to there but the door is definitely open.”
This isn’t the first time VanZant has been linked to a potential career in WWE. The young star confirmed her interest all the way back in 2018, but wasn’t “ready to leave UFC” at that time. With UFC in the rearview and a high-profile stint with BKFC on the horizon VanZant is leaving the door open again for a potential WWE crossover.
“Communication is actually there sometimes so we’re able to communicate and show our interest with each other and once there’s a little bit more free time in my schedule I think that’s something that I would like to really pursue,” added VanZant.
For now, VanZant will be left to take care of business under the BKFC banner. She signed an exclusive deal with the promotion last August and is ready to prove her worth inside of the ring. Once that journey is completed it sounds like “12 Gauge” could follow in the footsteps of former UFC champion Ronda Rousey and make a transition to the WWE ring.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire “KnuckleMania” fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the YouTube “Prelims” matches at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the FITE TV PPV main card at 9 p.m. ET.
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