Throughout her Naked Knuckle Preventing Championship debut earlier this yr, former UFC headliner Paige VanZant confirmed moments of inexperience, which led to a irritating unanimous resolution loss to Britain Hart.
VanZant admitted to being hesitant as she was adjusting to the timing of the rounds and looking for her rhythm after having solely fought as soon as in two years main as much as her first bare-knuckle struggle. When she lastly turned extra snug, she started exhibiting what a pressure she may be, delivering some heavy photographs — even splitting Hart’s chin within the fifth spherical.
Forward of her second BKFC bout, this time towards with fellow Octagon export and former UFC opponent Rachael Ostovich on July 23 at BKFC 19 in Tampa, FL, VanZant is extra assured, snug, and seeking to notch her first victory within the bare-knuckle motion. She talked concerning the modifications she’s made since her first struggle and the way that can translate within the distinction we’ll see in her second bout.
I had numerous nice choices and once I left the UFC. a part of me thought that I’d 100% be preventing for Bellator. Everybody thought that’s the place I’d find yourself — that’s the place my husband (Austin Vanderford) is, and he’ll be a Bellator champion quickly. Everybody thought we’d struggle for a similar group. Then Naked Knuckle got here ahead with a suggestion that was utterly superb. The thought of doing bare-knuckle boxing simply appeared like the proper match for me. Throughout my whole UFC profession, considered one of my standouts was how powerful I’m.
I felt with naked knuckle, it’s for the hardest of the powerful. Solely the actual, gritty and soiled fighters could make it there and I actually needed to check myself in it. I do really feel like if I need to return to MMA, I’ll at all times have doorways which might be open. For proper now, this appeared like too thrilling of a possibility for me to move up. It was the one which acquired me probably the most passionate the place I awoke every single day and felt prefer it’s what I needed to do with my profession proper now. They’ve been a superb group to work with up to now and I’m actually excited and proud of my resolution.
There was a little bit little bit of a bodily distinction in going into bare-knuckle boxing. The rounds are shorter [two-minute rounds], and every spherical is a dash versus a marathon. In MMA, there’s three five-minute rounds and you actually must have that lengthy cardio for an extended time period whereas right here, the rounds are shorter, however the motion is rather more intense and aggressive each single second. It’s important to have that sprint-like cardio. That’s been one of many changes that I’ve needed to make. From a psychological standpoint, I had to enter this with an understanding of I might completely break my arms or get lower open. I already knew how powerful I used to be due to going by means of the experiences within the UFC, so I used to be conscious that toughness was one thing I already had.
EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER
Truthfully, what I took away from the primary struggle was simply the expertise. I believe within the first three rounds, you can see my hesitation. I used to be simply attempting to determine what the struggle recreation was going to be, what it appears like, and the way shortly the rounds go by. From the third spherical, you noticed me actually get snug. I believe it took a while for me to get my toes moist. A giant change that can make the distinction going into this subsequent struggle is I do know what to anticipate. I’m not going to have the questions in my head of what’s going to occur or how does this go. I even have that have now.
I’ve made a little bit little bit of a change and I’m working with Pedro Diaz right here in Miami and he’s a straight boxing coach at Mundo Boxing. I really feel like that’s going to be the largest distinction in my struggle recreation and my placing. Persons are actually going to see a giant change from my first struggle to this one. After the primary struggle, I believed it was essential to work with a straight boxing coach, and Pedro is a legend in boxing and I’m excited to have him in my nook.
Now Pedro’s acquired all the program down for me. I’m now simply straight boxing coaching. It’s extra gritty and extra closely cardio primarily based — I do a ton of working. I do just about no matter he says. The coaching is totally loopy, and I believe you’ll have the ability to see that my physique has modified utterly. I really dropped doing the precise conditioning and simply went straight boxing and no matter else Pedro has me doing. I really feel like my physique has modified in such a constructive means that you simply’ll have the ability to see that within the struggle. My higher physique has gotten lots stronger by using the instruments and program he’s given me.
A typical day of coaching for me is dependent upon if I’m doing a non-public session with Pedro or if I’m working with all the staff. I get up about 8 a.m. and apply is normally till 11. I’ve an hour drive to the health club every single day, which I like as a result of it will get me ready for apply. Sometimes, I’ll prepare for 2 hours and that comes with all boxing coaching, our cardio and no matter else he has deliberate for the day. Each exercise is completely different, however I belief his program. He has every thing written out for me and I by no means know precisely what we’re going to do. I’ll drive residence and have a brief interval to relaxation and get better. Then, I’ll do my night cardio and that’s extra working and doing no matter I can to get my weight down.
KEEPING CONSISTENT IN OTHER AREAS
My eating regimen is about the identical. The load courses in BKFC are the identical because the MMA weight courses. I’m working with a meal firm out right here in Miami that has been nice. They supply me with the wholesome meals for my struggle camp.
I really don’t get pleasure from consuming earlier than I work out so if I do eat in any respect, I’ll have a banana earlier than apply. I’ll at all times have espresso and the one factor I can’t lower out of my eating regimen is my espresso creamer. That’s normally earlier than apply. After apply, I’ll have a protein shake for the drive residence after which I’ll have no matter meal is put together for me once I get residence. It’s usually extraordinarily lean protein, greens, rice and another carb. My favourite meals are meals for lunch and dinners. I like Indian meals and I needed to lower that out in addition to Thai meals. I’m excited for after the struggle to have some actually good Indian meals.
I do a ton of restoration now with the brand new coaching. I do numerous ice baths. We’ll do an ice tub in between periods to try to get my muscular tissues to get better as quickly as potential for the subsequent coaching session. I get numerous massages to ensure I’m not as sore going into sparring days or not as sore popping out of sparring days. I like the sauna and I do know it’s extraordinarily wholesome for you, and I do know it helps me put together for the load lower when it will get nearer to the struggle, having the ability to sweat and lose as a lot water as potential with out shedding my actual muscle mass. I like it as a result of it’s very therapeutic and it helps with the soreness additionally.
I believe you’ll see a extra ready boxer. I really feel like I’ll be extra assured and that needs to be the standout. I’m coming in with the expertise of getting one bare-knuckle boxing match already. I’m preventing an opponent who I’ve already crushed in MMA. I submitted her however now I’m coming for the knockout. It does give me a lift of confidence and I believe that’s a very powerful factor in preventing, together with having the psychological edge, and I really feel I’ve that right here. I additionally do really feel I’ll have the energy, pace, and boxing benefit as properly.