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After nearly three years away from combat sports competition, Paige VanZant is near a return.

VanZant, who has not competed since July 2021, has a date, location, and opponent for her next fight. The gloves are coming back on.

“I got called by my manager the day before yesterday and I got offered a fight, a boxing match – and I took it,” VanZant said on “The Kickass Love Story” podcast. “I don’t know if I can give all the details. I haven’t signed the contract yet. … I accepted the fight. It was initially, the date they offered me, was March 23, which was like, ‘Perfect. Hell yeah. I’ll get one more fight in before I turn 30 because I turn 30 (on) March 26.’ I told my manager, I was like, ‘F*ck yeah, I’ll take it. I’ll get back into boxing.’ I was just really excited. The opportunity was really cool, so I was like, ‘Perfect.’ (It was) an eight-week camp, so I won’t have that long to stress or overthink or anything like that. I was like, ‘That’s perfect.’

“It turns out it’s not going to be March 23. After I accepted it, they were like, ‘OK, you know what? We’re actually going to move it to… May or June.’ I heard both dates.”

While VanZant elected to keep the opponent, event, and location under wraps, she did reveal the fight will be gloved. VanZant does not appear to have previous gloved boxing experience at the professional level, but has competed twice in bareknuckle boxing for BKFC.

“I accepted a boxing match. That will be my next fight,” Vanzant said. “It will be really, really exciting for everyone. Gloves on. This is straight boxing. I did think my next fight would be a bareknuckle boxing match, but this opportunity came forward and I was like, ‘Yeah, f*ck it, let’s go.’ So I took a fight. We’re really excited.”

VanZant, 29, rose to stardom through nine appearances in the UFC from 2014-2020. She departed the promotion after fighting out her contract, then signed with BKFC less than one year later, in 2021.

She lost her BKFC outings each by unanimous, against Britain Hart and Rachael Ostovich. VanZant was scheduled to face Charisa Sigala twice in the second half of 2022, but the bookings were canceled due to her withdrawal.

Additionally, Vanzant intermittently appeared and performed in pro wrestling organization AEW from September 2021 to May 2022.

Staff
Author: Staff

Please go to MMAJunkie.USAToday.com to read full article.

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