Paige VanZant rules out retirement, but admits BKFC return is far from set: “I don’t know if it’s down the road”

By Josh Evanoff - December 28, 2023

It appears that Paige VanZant isn’t fully done with competing in BKFC.


‘12 Gauge’ hasn’t been seen in combat sports since a rematch with Rachel Ostovich in July 2021. That bout took place just two and a half years after Paige VanZant defeated the Hawaiian in the UFC cage. However, their bare-knuckle boxing match looked radically different.

In the main event of BKFC 19, Paige VanZant suffered a unanimous decision loss. The defeat set the former UFC strawweight back to 0-2 in bare-knuckle boxing. Despite plans for a return last October against Charisa Sigala, that fight never came to fruition. Since then, VanZant has been quiet about a return.

In the meantime, she’s found success with the subscriber platform OnlyFans. Earlier this year, Paige VanZant revealed that she made more money on her first day on the platform than in her entire UFC career. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that she’s never returned to combat sports.

However, that doesn’t mean that Paige VanZant is retired, far from it. Speaking to MMA Fighting in a recent interview, ‘12 Gauge’ stated that planned to hopefully fight in the BKFC ring in 2024. Although, that return is far from official, and she doesn’t know when it will take place.


Paige VanZant

Paige VanZant discusses plans for 2024 return to the BKFC ring

“I feel like I’m in a position where I’m just having fun working out and training right now.” Paige VanZant stated in a recent interview with MMA Fighting, discussing a potential BKFC return. “I’m going back to when I first started. I want to find that spark and that passion again to where I’m not fighting to make the president of the company happy, I’m not fighting for sponsors… I’m in a great place where I can do all these things that I set out to do. I can help my family. I can do these things, but I don’t have to fight for that to be possible. Now it’s like I get to choose when I fight. It’s really nice.”

She continued, “…It’s definitely bare-knuckle [next], and I don’t know if it’s down the road in six months, I don’t know if it’s down the road a year. I just haven’t decided yet. I’m going to leave a lot of that up to my manager, and my coaches. Just work on this time to get better, enjoy the training and not worry about signing a fight contract right away. But it’s definitely bare-knuckle.”

“I love bare-knuckle boxing,” Paige VanZant concluded. “I’ve now gone 10 rounds in bare-knuckle boxing and I’m searching for that victory. I’m searching for a lot of things in bare-knuckle boxing that I haven’t accomplished, and it will be with BKFC again.”

What do you make of these comments? Do you want to see Paige VanZant return to the BKFC ring in 2024? Who do you want to see ‘12 Gauge’ face?


BKFC Paige VanZant