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BKFC 16: KnuckleMania features former UFC stars Paige VanZant, Johnny Bedford, Chris Leben

'12 Gauge' looking to make a successful transition

After signing a deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships in August 2020, former UFC star Paige VanZant will debut on the company’s Knucklemania show on Feb. 5.

VanZant, 30, made headlines after a bidding war broke out after she was released by the UFC in July 2020. She will face Britain Hart, 30, who debuted in 2018.

Hart has drifted back and forth from conventional boxing and is coming off a stoppage win after dropping her first two BKFC bouts.


Hart will undoubtedly be looking to spoil VanZant’s debut.

The co-main event will feature lightweight champion Johnny Bedford, 38, who will defend his 135-pound belt against Vietnamese challenger Dat Nugyen, 38.

The fight was originally scheduled for BKFC 14 in November 2020, when an injury to Bedford scrapped it.

Meanwhile, Chris Leben, 40, is a TUF 1 semi-finalist who last competed in the UFC in 2013. He became a referee, qualified to officiate bouts in California.

Leben is 2-1-0 in BKFC, will take on Quentin Henry in what is being billed as a retirement fight.

Henry, 31, is undefeated in two BKFC bouts and is a former MMA fighter.

BKFC 16: VanZant vs Hart is available for $19.99 USD on live stream on FITE and is scheduled for Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Fans can also purchase BKFC 16 tickets, which range from, $55 USD to $350 USD. More information can be found on the company website.

More bouts are expected to be announced.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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