UFC

Paige VanZant opens up on retirement U-turn after Bare-knuckle boxing defeat

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Paige VanZant has revealed she was prepared to quit bare-knuckle boxing after her debut defeat – before making a dramatic U-turn.

VanZant was defeated on points by Britain Hart last Friday in her first bout since joining the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

The 26-year-old claimed just a single round out of five as her opponent earned a unanimous decision from the judges.

It prompted the former UFC star into a frank discussion with her husband about whether she should quit the ring altogether.

In a post on Instagram, she said: "The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear our defeat without losing heart.

"Last night I told my husband I didn’t want to fight any more but as soon as the words left my lips I knew that wasn’t true.

"I’m a fighter. This is what I live for. Losers quit when they fail, winners fail until they succeed. That fight last night was a good learning experience for me.

"The timing and distance took a little bit to figure out but I felt my last round was my best round and I’m going to build off of that!

"I’m thankful to fight for the best team in the world and we are going to go back and fix our mistakes. Thank you to Britain for competing last night and congrats on victory! I’m also confident we will cross paths again."

VanZant left the UFC with a 5-4 record and chose to join BKFC in August having signed a deal reportedly worth around $1million.

She revealed she received $400,000 for her debut fight against Hart, which was around 10 times her average fee in MMA.

Following her retirement U-turn, VanZant is guaranteed at least three more bouts as part of a four-fight deal signed in 2020.

And judging by a later Instagram post, her husband Austin Vanderford will be by her side every step of the way.

VanZant added: "I love this man more than anything on earth.

"Thank you so much for constantly supporting me and reminding me who the f*** I am. I am Paige motherf****** Vanzant. I don’t quit when s*** get tough.

"I’m in this for the long haul and I don’t give a f*** what any of you have to say about it."

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  • UFC
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