Paige VanZant has unwavering support from her boxing coach.
VanZant is making quite the transition from mixed martial arts to bare-knuckle boxing. On July 12, 2020, VanZant fought out of her UFC contract when she took on Amanda Ribas. “12 Gauge” ended up being submitted by Ribas in the opening frame and she was available to test free agency. VanZant ended up signing with BKFC in a move that few expected.
The boxing coach of VanZant at American Top Team, Gabriel de Oliveira, told MMAFighting.com that he anticipates his fighter to be prepared for the move.
“We’ll have more time to work with Paige because she will only fight in November or early next year – we don’t have the date set yet – but we’ve already seen how she moves,” de Oliveira said. “She’s not totally raw. We’ll have to work, add some concepts and change a few concepts she’s carrying over, but I think it’s going to be a smooth transition.”
On top of that, de Oliveira said VanZant understands that she must adapt and can’t use the same strategies she implemented for her MMA fights. VanZant has said that she’s happy that she no longer has to worry about being taken down and working off her back. “12 Gauge” insists that striking is her strong suit and plans on showcasing her standup skills at their fullest potential.
At least for now, VanZant makes her MMA exit with a pro record of 8-5. During her time with the UFC, VanZant shared the Octagon with the likes of Rose Namajunas, Michelle Waterson, and Bec Rawlings to name a few. Time will tell if this transition to a new combat sport will be a smooth one for “12 Gauge.”