Former UFC star Paige VanZant explains why she signed for AEW over WWE

  • Tom Ward
Paige VanZant chose AEW over WWE

Paige VanZant had lots of options available to her after parting ways with the UFC in 2020.

The former MMA fighter, 28, says she had the chance – and a lucrative one at that – to sign with WWE two years ago as a free agent. It didn’t happen, though.

Instead, VanZant inked a deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), before signing an additional deal with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) on top of that as well last year.

In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport.com, VanZant said the flexibility was one of the main reasons behind her decision to sign a contract with AEW instead of WWE.

ALL THE INFO: BKFC London: Fight Card, Tickets, How to Watch and More

She said: “They reached out to my manager but the timing wasn’t right for me.

“With the WWE, you’ll notice when somebody signs with them, they have to drop all their other organisations. They’re an exclusive organisation.

“So, you know, I was excited that AEW let me work with them and they let me do the other things that I want to do.

Paige VanZant AEW debut
Paige VanZant made her debut for AEW last year

“I don’t have to completely stop being a bareknuckle boxer or a professional fighter or leave or retire from my sport.

“This is an awesome organisation to work with, they’ve been flexible with me knowing that I’m going to step away for a while while I prepare for my fight, and then come back and continue to be a part of their show.”

Despite our best efforts, VanZant however would not be pushed on a potential switch to WWE.

“I don’t know, I don’t really like to think about that,” she added when asked if it was something she would consider in the future.

“I just deal with the opportunities that are in front of me.

paige-vanzant-bare-knuckle-contract
Paige VanZant’s BareKnuckle Fighting Championship contract is said to be worth millions.

“I had the opportunity to sign with AEW and it was something that I just couldn’t turn down.”

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She continued: “Honestly, for pro wrestling, I knew that it was going to be something that I was really good at.

“I’ve always been extremely athletic and there is a lot of crossover and correlation between MMA and pro wrestling.

“So honestly, the training process was pretty easy. It was fun. Of course it takes a lot of hard work but it was a skill that I picked up relatively quickly.

“I went and had my first match and prepared for that. I think I did pretty well. And now I’ll take a little break until after this fight.”

Tickets for BKFC’s first-ever European event, headlined by a Transatlantic showdown between Michael ‘Venom’ Page and ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry, are on sale now via AXS.com.

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