Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images
It’s safe to say Paige VanZant will stay very busy over the next couple of years.
The former UFC fighter signed a deal to join the roster at All Elite Wrestling on Wednesday night, which comes in addition to her ongoing contract as one of the biggest stars currently on the BKFC roster.
While VanZant has been making appearances in AEW since 2021, sources close to the situation confirmed to MMA Fighting that this new deal is a long term arrangement between the 27-year-old and the upstart wrestling promotion owned by Tony Khan, who is the son of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.
Full terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
VanZant is expected to start learning at a professional wrestling school while also preparing for her eventual in-ring debut. She’s currently targeted for a future match against Tay Conti — real name Taynara Melo de Carvalho — who is also under contract with AEW while performing alongside her real life boyfriend, Sammy Guevara.
VanZant’s storyline with AEW has been ongoing for months while she’s appeared with American Top Team owner Dan Lambert, who serves as an on-screen manager to several wrestlers competing in the promotion.
As far as her career with BKFC goes, VanZant also remains under contract with the bare-knuckle fighting organization that just recently sold a majority share of the company to Triller.
BKFC president Dave Feldman previously told MMA Fighting that he expected VanZant to make her return to the ring sometime in the late spring or early summer. It’s unclear if those plans have changed at this time now that she’s signed with AEW but VanZant will still continue as part of the BKFC roster as well.
“Paige is still under contract with BKFC,” BKFC officials told MMA Fighting. “The companies will work together to build her career.”
VanZant quickly became a household name after she signed with the UFC back in 2014 and she earned a 5-4 record overall with the promotion. After leaving the UFC, VanZant inked a lucrative four-fight contract with BKFC to make her move into bare-knuckle fighting.
Now she’ll begin working towards a career in professional wrestling as well with VanZant expected to continue making appearances with AEW while preparing for her in-ring debut.