Paige VanZant’s Coach Expects Fighter To Have A Smooth Transition To Bare Knuckle Boxing

Former UFC fighter Paige VanZant has left MMA in pursuit of a new combat sports career in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships.

Gabriel De Oliveira is coaching PVZ as she enters the BKFC and he expects the former UFC star to make a smooth transition into the new sport.

“We’ll have more time to work with Paige, because she will only fight in November or early next year – we don’t have the date set yet – but we’ve already seen how she moves,” De Oliveira said to MMA Fighting. “She’s not totally raw. We’ll have to work, add some concepts and change a few concepts she’s carrying over, but I think it’s going to be a smooth transition. The most important is that she’s willing to do it. One cool thing about her is that we say something and she does it, she wants to learn, she’s thirsty for knowledge. Some other athletes we eventually work with, when we say something they go, ‘Oh, no, not that, I don’t want,’ you know? ‘I want my way, this is my way.’ She’s not like that, she understands she has to adapt and make some changes in order to do well in this new sport.”

PVZ has never competed in bare knuckle boxing before, but she did pick up two of her eight professional MMA wins by way of KO/TKO.

De Oliveira does admit that it is a huge challenge to help VanZant transition from professional MMA to bare knuckle boxing.

“I was happy that she came here because, even though she’s new to this sport, she’s a big name in combat sports and adds a lot to the team,” De Oliveira said. “It’s a big challenge for her and for us, transferring her to this sport, to this focus, because that’s really new for her. She’s not a boxer, so we’ll have to focus on that.”

There is no word yet on when PVZ will make her BKFC debut, but her coach said it could happen anytime from October to early 2021.

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