Paige VanZant, a former UFC fighter, has signed with All Elite Wrestling.

Paige VanZant is expanding her combat sports background by becoming a pro wrestler.

Tony Khan, the president of All Elite Wrestling, stated shortly after VanZant’s appearance on “AEW Dynamite” on Wednesday night that the former UFC fighter has signed a deal with the organization.

After the news surfaced, VanZandt tweeted, “Wanted to give the world one more reason to hate on me: PVZ TAKING OVER!!!!”

VanZant, who is 27 years old, debuted in AEW in September alongside other high-profile members of her MMA gym American Top Team, including founder and on-screen manager for Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky, Dan Lambert. After Khan announced last week that she would sign her contract on TV, that friendship cleared the path for VanZant’s first official storyline conflict in the firm.

She came out of the crowd on Wednesday’s Dynamite to attack wrestler Tay Conti – the real-life girlfriend of Sammy Guevara. It led to Guevara losing his match and TNT championship to Sky. VanZant signing her contract on a beat up Conti, a black belt in judo who spent time in WWE, to close the show.

In response to the formal confirmation of VanZant’s agreement, Conti stirred the storyline pot early Thursday morning, tweeting, “she’s going to get her ass kicked just like she did her whole fighting career.”

VanZant, who was on the outside of a conflict pitting Sky, Page, Lambert, and American Top Team against Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle faction last summer, appeared to be on the verge of signing with AEW even before Wednesday. She made a surprise appearance last month and became violent with Brandi Rhodes, AEW’s chief brand officer at the moment, and had a pull-apart in the ring. Rhodes and her husband Cody, on the other hand, quit the company less than two weeks later.

The Oregon native’s first match could take time to materialize. ESPN reported that there is a plan in place for her to begin training in pro wrestling and AEW’s next pay-per-view, Double or Nothing, isn’t until May 29 in Las Vegas — the home of so many UFC events. The company is, however, known for putting high-profile matches on its television shows.

VanZant, who currently lives in Florida, gives AEW a chance for further crossover appeal through American Top Team, with UFC star Jorge Masvidal and former champion Junior dos Santos already appearing on its programing. She left the UFC after six years as a free agent in 2020 after going 5-4 and signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship where she is 0-2. VanZant has also appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2016 and has more than 3 million Instagram followers.

Former WWE star Jeff Hardy also debuted on the show, coming to the aid of bother Matt, who signed with the company in March of 2020. Jeff was released by WWE in early January.

Categorized as Sport

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