The Flyweight Bare Knuckle Babe Brawl You Need To Watch!
Miami. November 13 has emerged as a fun, under the radar day in combat sports. On this day ten years before, UFC 122 hit the airwaves. Originally slated to face Vitor Belfort, Yushin Okami would instead face late replacement Nate Marquardt and win a decision. This win would grant the Japanese cage fighter a title shot against Anderson Silva. Going back eighteen November 13’s before THAT, Riddick Bowe defeats Evander Holyfield for Heavyweight Boxing gold and glory!
November 13, 2020 proved to be yet another big day in combat sports history. Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship hosted BKFC 14 in Miami, which of all it’s Bare Knuckle events had the most buzz yet. Certainly due in part to the small VIP crowd that was there, the event had an energy and PPV experience that just hasn’t been captured since the onset of the pandemic.
BKFC 14 also marked the recently signed former UFC Flyweight Paige VanZant’s first appearance at a BKFC event, where “12 Gauge Paige” provided featured commentary for the sole women’s fight of the card. Britain Hart (1-2 BKFC, 4-4-3 Boxing) put away her opponent in four rounds and in her post fight interview, the gritty Pro Boxer called out VanZant. Not suprisingly, Paige VanZant climbed into The Squared Circle to accept Britain Hart’s challenge, calling it “an easy fight”. The bout is verbally agreed for February 5, 2021. Super Bowl weekend.
This matchup is perfect for both fighters. It’s not a big shock that there have been an overwhelming number of critics that think Social Media Darling Paige VanZant and Bare Knuckle should stay the hell away from one another. After all, VanZant hasn’t gotten a knockout since her KO of Bec Rawlings in 2016. Well, guess what? Bec Rawlings was in the BKFC, became Champion and had a perfect 3-0 record there. VanZant will also be debuting against a fighter with a 1-2 record, so you can’t really say Paige is waging an unwinnable war, can you? So hold off on those whacky crystal ball readings!
In a BKFC promotional video that played during the card, VanZant explains that her move to American Top Team in Florida and her training under BKFC and Former UFC fighter Thiago Alves (23-15 MMA, 1-0 BKFC) is setting her up for success. American Top Team has apparently formed a Bare Knuckle team with dedicated training and that in itself sounds like a great advantage for an eager fighter like Paige VanZant, who has fairly high expectations set upon her.
If you take a look at her social media, Britain Hart has a similar self belief. In a November 16 Instagram post, Hart is still sporting fresh looking cuts on her face but she is seen with a smirk and a fist at ready. The caption reads, “Oh the possibility that we can make the impossible…possible.” With her eleven fights in Professional Boxing, Hart absolutely poses a legitimate threat to Paige Vanzant.
In pure Boxing, Hart possesses an advantage in experience and almost certainly hand speed. VanZant is a practitioner of MMA striking. MMA striking factors in takedowns and dealing with kicks. Boxing has none of those worries, so in terms of who is more refined as a pugilist, it is likely Britain Hart. What makes this fight so fun is how evenly matched up they appear to be. Hart is a .500 Pro Boxer with the spirit of a brawler while VanZant will surely counter with a more technical approach. Hart has more pure boxing experience but VanZant has an elite quality team behind her and isn’t afraid to bleed.
A win over Britain Heart is key for Paige VanZant to have a successful debut and will likely secure VanZant a title shot, as she has a big name in the promotion already. Win or lose, this fight will show her fans and critics exactly where she is at skill wise. A win over Paige VanZant would improve Heart’s record to 2-2 in BKFC and likely earn her a title shot as well for stopping the Paige train in it’s tracks. It would certainly be the biggest victory for Hart in her fighting career, Boxing or Bare Knuckle.
So there it is. I’m really excited for this fight to happen, as it has key perks and stinging setbacks for the winner and loser of this matchup. If for any reason this fight doesn’t happen at BKFC, I’d pay big bucks to watch it happen at a Boba Tea House parking lot, that’s how sure I am that this fight will be an instant Bare Knuckle classic! Do your ginger fight friend a favor and catch BKFC 15: The British Are Coming, December 4, 2020!