Despite only being 26-years-old, Paige VanZant has admitted that thoughts of retirement crossed her mind following a decision loss to Britain Hart in her bareknuckle boxing debut on Friday night.
“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear our defeat without losing heart,” PVZ wrote on Instagram. “Last night I told my husband I didn’t want to fight any more. But as soon as the words left my lips I knew that wasn’t true. I’m a fighter. This is what I live for. Losers quit when they fail, winners fail until they succeed. That fight last night was a good learning experience for me. The timing and distance took a little bit to figure out. But I felt my last round was my best round and I’m going to build off of that! I’m thankful to fight for the best team in the world and we are going to go back and fix our mistakes. Thank you to Britain for competing last night and congrats on victory! I’m also confident we will cross paths again.
VanZant’s combat sports career started with a great deal of promise, making her way to the UFC at a young age and enjoying some initial success, but she’s found the going tougher in recent years, suffering from injury woes while winning only two of her last six fights in the Octagon before being released and switching up to the BKFC promotion instead.
Still, PVZ has enjoyed a lot of success outside of the cage, including being the runner-up on Dancing With The Stars and also becoming a lucrative influencer on Instagram with over 2.7 million followers.
With that in mind VanZant is probably in a better position than most to retire at such a young age and use her star power to forge a career beyond the fight game, but it seems for the time being she’s still dedicated to competing and BFKC are now tentatively earmarking a potential return to action for her in the summer.