Paige VanZant Has Goal to Return to Combat Sports in 2024
Paige VanZant has always been one of the most marketable fighters in the MMA sphere and she’s also learned how to market herself. Whether that’s through fighting, commentary or her online presence, she has just gotten it done. Well, she has some goals for 2024 and one of them has her returning to combat sports.
The 29-year-old has not fought since 2021, when she lost a decision to Rachael Ostovich at BKFC 19. This was her third straight loss, prior to that she had made her BKFC debut at KnuckleMania and lost a decision to Britain Hart.
VanZant and her husband Austin Vanderford host a podcast together entitled ‘Paige and Austin: A Kickass Love Story’ and on their 2023 Recap episode, the two went over their goals for 2024.
On “12 Gauge’s” list was her love for fighting and that she wanted to return to the ring or cage. She has her sights set on a very specific combat sporting promotion as well — Karate Combat.
“You know what I kinda wanna do? And I don’t know if I told you this — one I want to fight in 2024,” VanZant told Vanderford on their 2023 Recap podcast. “I’m very excited about it. But, I wanna do that Combat Karate. I love that because for me, one it just seems super fun and right up my alley. But I love striking, That’s the one thing that I have not lost a passion for at all. Love striking, I love my kicks, it’s always been a big part of me, so maybe we will see me do that in 2024.”
Vanderford said that “he would love that.” And VanZant followed up by explaining that, “I just have been thinking about it. I haven’t communicated this with like anybody important yet.”
Following the Karate Combat talk, Vanderford talked about when VanZant exited the UFC they were talking about fighting in the same promotion and then she went on to fight for BKFC. She then went into further detail.
“When I left the UFC, my decision to go to Bare Knuckle Boxing was a lot of reasons. There was a lot. One, I didn’t want to go to a new promotion and just be a failed UFC fighter. I wanted to do something exciting and new and challenging and I felt if I just made the transition to, let’s just say Bellator it would have just been me going from the UFC to Bellator. It didn’t feel like something new and exciting and different. So, one that’s why I made the transition to BKFC and two they were an incredible promotion. The negotiations just went really well, I liked everything I was hearing. Three, I just shattered my forearm three times, no I broke my arm four times and had surgery three times. And every injury except for the first one was based on an MMA move kind of.
I just thought it would be a really good break for me to continue to heal my arm because the bone just takes really long to heal that Bare Knuckle boxing would be just a little bit lower risk for me to rebreak my arm. Which it has been, I’ve gone this long without breaking it. And I wanted a big power move, and I was like, that’s gonna make headlines, that’s gonna be huge.”
So do you think Paige VanZant will make the move to Karate Combat?