Ex-UFC star Paige VanZant made her bare-knuckle boxing debut for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) on Friday night in Tampa, Florida, and people from the UFC and boxing communities were watching from all around the world.
VanZant lost her BKFC debut to Britain Hart via unanimous decision. It was a spirited battle, but ultimately Hart’s experience in bare-knuckle boxing seemed to allow her to outwork VanZant over the five scheduled rounds.
Judges scored the bout 49-46, 49-46 and 49-46 for Hart, though VanZant did seem to be coming on strong toward the end of the fight.
You can see reactions to VanZant’s loss below.
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VanZant: ‘Humble In Defeat’
VanZant shared her reaction to the loss via Instagram.
Hart: ‘I’m A F****** Feeling’
Maybe the most epic reaction to Hart’s win was from Hart.
“I’m not a person. I’m not. I’m a f****** feeling, and all you guys are going to feel it,” Hart said during her post-fight interview.
Seriously, Hart’s post-fight interview was one of the most entertaining in recent history.
First, Hart declared that she wasn’t a person, but a feeling.
Next, she was accosted by another BKFC fighter who was sitting ringside in something that looked exactly like what gets scripted in pro wrestling on just about every single wrestling card that’s ever been put together.
UFC Reactions to PVZ vs. Hart
VanZant told Heavy earlier in the week that she thought other popular UFC stars would be leaving the company soon just like she decided to do. But those other UFC stars might think twice now about trying to change sports after seeing VanZant struggle in her first BKFC fight.
ESPN’s Richard Mann argued VanZant struggled with “distance striking”.
Vanzant’s manager Malki Kawa paid his respects to the winner.
The Schmo gave props to VanZant’s effort even though she came up a bit short on the night.
UFC’s Karyn Bryant enjoyed the entertaining main event, too.
UFC women’s strawweight Alex Chambers cheered on VanZant for “keeping it classy”.
Bleacher Report’s Tom Taylor argued that everyone who watched the event came away from it changed forever in a positive way.
Boxing Reactions to PVZ vs. Hart
The card was so big that people from the professional boxing world were watching it, too.
FightHub’s Marcos Villegas, who also does work with Premier Boxing Champions, loved what he saw watching KnuckleMana, but he also wondered about the future of the fighters.
Rachel McCarson from “Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel” entered the evening curious about how BKFC fighters would compare to their regular pro boxing counterparts.
It was a fun night of action for everyone.
Heck, even Hall of Fame boxing announcer Al Bernstein was watching the fights. Bernstein has called some of the biggest and best fights in boxing history.
Other Reactions to PVZ vs. Hart
Lots of other people seemed to enjoy watching the fight, too.
One person noted how easily it seemed for the fighters to get cut in BKFC fights.
Another person called the sport the “raggediest” he’d ever seen.
But this person probably said it best.
BKFC isn’t MMA. It’s not even boxing. It’s something entirely different, and people seemed to have enjoyed the raucous evening of fights featuring VanZant’s debut.
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