Paige VanZant Salvages Draw After Being Dropped Early In Boxing Match

Ex-UFC fighter Paige VanZant returned to action for the first time in three years in a boxing match against Elle Brooke at a Misfits Boxing in Texas last night and had to dig deep in order to salvage a draw from the contest.

The 30-year-old VanZant was making her pro-boxing debut on the night, while her opponent, the 26-year-old social media influencer turned boxer Brooke, had two wins via strikes on her record.

And Brooke’s punching power was demonstrated in the first round when she floored PVZ with a flush straight right. However, VanZant demonstrated her toughness to get back up and continue the fight.

VanZant now faced a big challenge to get back into a bout that was only scheduled to go five rounds, but to her credit in the rounds that followed she was able to showcase her more technical boxing ability, movement and cardio to get the better of Brooke, though her less experienced rival was still posing a threat due to her natural power advantage.

In the end the fight went to the final bell and resulted in a split-draw verdict (48-46, 46-48, 47-47), with both fighters now seemingly eager to have a rematch.

Boxing has always seemed like a curious avenue for VanZant to pursue as even in her heyday in the UFC she wasn’t known for her striking ability, being more of a durable, scrappy grappler whose best moment of success on the feet had come via a head kick finish against Bec Rawlings.

VanZant had opted to leave the UFC in 2020 after losing four of her previous six fights, having successfully leveraged her star power to find financial security with racy content on the OnlyFans subscription site, which she claimed earned her more in 24 hours than she had in her entire fight career.

PVZ didn’t leave her combat sports aspirations behind though, instead signing a lucrative deal with bareknuckle boxing outfit BKFC in 2021. That didn’t go well though, suffering back-to-back losses to Britain Hart and Rachael Ostovich.

VanZant is currently in a multi-fight deal with Misfits Boxing, so a rematch with Brooke seems inevitable at this point.

“It is what it is. It sets up the perfect rematch,” PVZ said afterwards. “It looks like we’re going to do it one more time, I think in Dubai, it sounds like.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.