BKFC Paige VanZant vs Britain Hart result, KnuckleMania 2021, scorecard
Former UFC star Paige VanZant has been picked apart in her Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship debut.
The American MMA star threw some smoking shots in the fifth round, but was eating shots from opponent Britain Hart throughout the fight.
VanZant’s debut in the emerging fight promotion was promoted as the biggest event in the history of the BKFC — and her defeat is a crushing blow for the sport.
The 26-year-old had just one fight in the two years leading up to her BKFC debut and had not fought since her final fight in the UFC, a loss to Amanda Ribas in July.
Her inexperience showed and the judges handed the fight to Hart via a unanimous decision (49-46 x3).
VanZant was spotted with a severely bruised face and a series of cuts under her left eye.
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There was chaos throughout the fight as VanZant consistently caught Hart with punches of her own and the Instagram superstar was the dominant force in the fifth round, rocking Hart with a jab that made the former boxer a little wonky on her feet.
She even opened up Hart’s chin in the fifth round with blood pouring down onto her neck.
Hart revealed after the fight that VanZant knocked at least two of her teeth out.
But there was no denying Hart controlled the fight.
She described the result as the biggest of her career.
“This is awesome,” she said.
“I made this moment about the people who believed, not the people who didn’t believe.”
In the first round VanZant landed a few nice punches during a five-punch combination, but Hart appeared to land more punches as they exchanges strikes.
Hart slipped in more strikes from range in the second round and forced VanZant onto the ropes.
Despite VanZant countering with some nice punches, it was still Hart landing the heavier blows as the fight went into the fourth round.
Hart was able to keep VanZant at distance and made her pay when she attempted to get in close.
“Every time she tries to get inside she’s eating punches,” a BKFC commentator told the live KnuckleMania broadcast.
Hart continued to land some heavy right hands in the fourth round and left VanZant frustrated about her failure to get the fight on her own terms.
VanZant landed her biggest shots with one minute remaining in the fifth round and showed she belongs in the BKFC, but it wasn’t enough to impress the judges.
It came after the five-round bloodbath between Taylor Starling and Charisa Sigala stole the headlines on the event’s undercard with more than 500 punches thrown.
In the co-main event, Dat Nguyen became the new BKFC champion in the 125-pound division after he upset Johnny Bedford via a unanimous judges decision.
VanZant shoved Hart by the throat during their weigh-ins on Friday.
VanZant, one of the most popular UFC fighters ever, said this week her BKFC contract will pay her 10 times more than she earned under Dana White.
Claiming she received $40,000 per fight in the Octagon with a bonus $40,000 foe each victory, she now stands to walk away from KnuckleMania with a fight purse of $400,000.
VanZant tipped the scales at 126 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in.