Former UFC star Paige VanZant could be set for an MMA return after failing to get her bare-knuckle boxing career off to a successful start.
VanZant, who spent six years fighting in the UFC before a torrid run of four defeats in six fights saw her dropped from the promotion, put pen to paper on a four-bout contract with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship last year.
Yet, the 27-year-old has not exactly hit the ground running since venturing into the bare-knuckle world, suffering back-to-back losses in her first two contests this year against Britain Hart and old UFC rival Rachael Ostovich.
And despite her four-fight deal, BKFC President David Feldman has cast doubt over VanZant's future as a bare-knuckle fighter, instead hinting that she could make a surprise return to MMA.
“We spoke to her management team and honestly it’s up in the air,” Feldman told MMA Fighting.
“We’re not 100 percent sure she’ll be back with BKFC.
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"It looks like she will but at the end of the day, if her heart and her passion is she wants to give MMA another shot, we may give her that opportunity.
"I’m not here to hold anybody back.”
VanZant was valued highly by the UFC in her first two years with the company, winning four of her first five bouts.
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However, an alarming run of three defeats in her next four outings, along with her regular complaints to the media about fighter pay, eventually soured the Florida star's relationship with Dana White.
As a result, a move to Bellator would be more realistic if she decides to revive her MMA career, where her fighter husband Austin Vanderford is currently plying his trade.
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“She started in MMA,” Feldman added. “Her husband fights for Bellator. If she wants to go fight with her husband … like I said, we’ll see what happens.
"I know that she definitely wants to go back to MMA. She always did. Even when she came over to bare-knuckle, I knew that was going to come up, and with her not able to taste victory yet in BKFC, maybe she wants to go over there.”
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