Fighting out the last bout of her UFC deal opposite Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 earlier this month – flyweight striker, Paige ’12 Gauge’ VanZant has penned a multi-fight deal with David Feldman’s, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
Sources close to Fight Bananas confirmed the signing of VanZant, requesting anonymity in the process – following a prior report from ESPN reporter, Ariel Helwani.
The Oregon native joins the Philadelphia based promotion, following a nine-fight stint in the UFC. The 26-year-old has dropped three defeats in her last four outings and has been plagued with injuries, including a broken forearm which has required surgery on three separate occasions.
The former 115-pound contender debuted in the UFC at UFC Fight Night Austin in November of 2014 – beginning a three-fight winning run which included victories over Kailin Curran, Felice Herrig, and Alex Chambers. In her first professional loss, VanZant dropped a rear-naked choke defeat to future division titleholder, ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC Fight Night Las Vegas in December of 2015, in her premier headliner in the organization.
Following the defeat, VanZant competed on Dancing with the Stars – where she scooped second place. The following August, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt launched a stunning highlight-reel switch kick knockout of current Bellator MMA contender, ‘Rowdy’ Bec Rawlings.
Once more catapulted to the main event, VanZant stood opposite former Invicta FC atomweight best, Michelle Waterson at UFC Fight Night Sacramento, but once again lost via rear-naked choke – this time in the opening frame. Following the loss, VanZant would announce her intentions to test flyweight waters.
Suffering a consecutive loss for the first time in her professional career, VanZant dropped a unanimous judging to Jessica-Rose Clark, following the cancellation of her division debut outing against one-time title challenger, Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye. Briefly returning to the win column, the Team Quest trainee took an armbar victory over Rachael Ostovich at UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January of last year. Ending her UFC stint, VanZant would find herself on the wrong end of an armbar, this time against the aforenoted, Ribas at UFC 251 on Yas Island.