Fighters are unquestionably physically and mentally tough, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their struggles, as Paige VanZant made clear recently.
VanZant, the former MMA competitor turned bare knuckle boxer, lost her second career bare knuckle bout on July 23. The 27-year-old lost by unanimous decision to Rachael Ostovich at BKFC 19.
In her new video blog series, VanZant explained that immediately following the loss, she sank into a dark place. While she felt she had won the fight, VanZant’s pain went beyond the decision itself.
“When I walked out of the ring, I didn’t just walk to my locker room, I literally walked all the way outside and I just went and cried in the parking lot by myself,” VanZant said, via MMAFighting.com. “I said some things to my husband that are pretty terrible about like my mental state.
“I told him I didn’t want to live anymore, that this wasn’t for me anymore. Like life wasn’t for me anymore so I was disappointed, It was hard.”
VanZant has endured a challenging few years in the fight world. She missed a year of UFC competition after breaking her arm in a fight in January 2018, and suffered losses in three of her final four MMA fights overall.
VanZant has yet to win a bare knuckle fight, though she’s only had two opportunities. She admitted in her web series that she sometimes feels like “everyone expects me to lose and everyone expects me to fail” but also said she will look to prioritize her mental health more moving forward.
“People like me struggle a lot, everybody does,” VanZant said. “Mental health is no joke and I need to start taking my mental health more seriously.
“Losses suck and going through hard times it’s not fun but it does get better and you can get through it and life goes on.”