Combat queen Paige VanZant is leaving no stone unturned ahead of her Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut, with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition stunner appearing ready to risk her All-American good looks once more.
VanZant, 26, is used to turning heads but caused more than a few raised eyebrows when she inked a deal with upstart bare-knuckle fight league last year upon the expiration of her UFC deal.
And ahead of her first foray in the world of bare-knuckle boxing at the promotion’s ‘KnuckleMania’ fight event on Friday where she will take on pro boxer Britain Hart, VanZant has issued a clip to social media showing off the boxing skills which she hopes will bring her to another summit of the combat sports world.
“FRIDAY WE GO TO WAR!” wrote the former UFC contender.
The very fact that a fighter of VanZant’s stature will be competing on Friday’s card represents something of a coup for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. The organization, which has placed itself at the forefront of the resurgence of the sport, hasn’t yet replicated the success of their most successful bouts; Artem Lobov’s heated showdown with Paulie Malignaggi and the duo of fights against Lobov’s fellow UFC alumnus Jason Knight.
It is hoped, though, that Van Zant’s command of the more than 2.7 million people who follow her on Instagram can help draw a sizeable audience for her debut fight on Friday – and nor is she afraid of losing some blood along the way.
“I think the hard thing is the regular fan, not necessarily educated in martial arts or educated in the medical field,” she said this week. “They see blood and immediately see it as a terrible injury. Whereas for me, I would much rather be cut open than break my arm or break my knuckle or tear my shoulder or tear my knee.
“One, you can barely tell, and two, I heard statistically that scars make you more attractive. It’s not a big deal. Those heal and you just continue on. Faces heal really well, your body heals itself really well.”
It remains to be seen if her “scars are attractive” maxim will prove true, but we suspect that the proof in this particular pudding will come about if and when Sports Illustrated come calling once again to adorn VanZant, scars and all, in one of their latest spreads.