Former UFC strawweight Paige VanZant struggled to find success in bareknuckle boxing after parting ways with the world’s preeminent combat sports promotion, but she certainly looked right at home as a professional wrestler for All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
VanZant, 28, made her in-ring debut at the “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view (PPV) event last weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, throwing down with Brazilian bruiser Tay Conti as part of a mixed tag team match which ended in favor of team “12 Gauge.”
“I’m feeling great, I went out there, we got the win … I showed everybody I’m meant to be a pro wrestler, too,” VanZant told The Schmo. “I never give myself a perfect grade. There’s always room for improvement. I’m only going to get better. I just started training pro wrestling, but you got to see how quickly I picked up pro wrestling moves, and I showed all the girls in the division they got somebody to look out for. I came out of this match unscathed, I have zero injuries because I put on a dominant performance. I can’t wait for my solo match.”
When or where that solo match takes place — and in what capacity — remains to be seen. VanZant still has one fight remaining on her Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) contract and has been loosely linked to an in-ring return on July 9 in London, England.
American Top Team (ATT) founder Dan Lambert has been a fixture on AEW programming in recent months, opening the door for his stable of fighters (like this former UFC champion) to make part-time appearances inside the ring. For how much longer is anyone’s guess.