VanZant became a free agent following her crushing first-round defeat to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 on “UFC Fight Island” earlier this month, and has made the most of her downtime by heading to Vegas for a series of typically scantily-clad shots with Bellator MMA middleweight Vanderford.

Announcing to her following of more than 2.7 million that “we went to Vegas”, VanZant showed herself lying on a sun lounger in a bright pink bikini, accompanied by the simple caption, “booty”.

The flyweight zoomed in on Vanderford in their hotel room while singing, adding: “He’s naked, can’t zoom out.”

The couple, who have frequently posted risque photos together in which their modesties have been narrowly covered during quarantine, then kissed in a pool as VanZant commentated: “We are so freaking cute.

“Keep those shades on baby, cause our future is bright.”

Eric Kowal, an MMA writer who also works for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), said earlier this week that he had been asked for his thoughts two weeks ago by BKFC president David Feldman about signing VanZant.

“There are talks – nothing close yet,”  he added.

“We’ll see, but this is the latest.”

The 26-year-old spent almost six years with the UFC, winning five of her nine fights before her contract ended after her defeat to Ribas, when UFC president all-but confirmed she was being released in his post-fight press conference.

In a mixed response to the news, a fan responded to a joke that VanZant would be best employed as a ring girl by retorting: “She’s an elite fighter.

“She lost a fight coming off an injury with a long layover, so all of a sudden she has to be a ring girl?

“Probably hotter than the ring girls, to be honest. Not to mention her weakness is grappling, so this is a good fit for her.”

Others worried that she would suffer in bare-knuckle fighting and advised her to join partner Vanderford as a Bellator fighter.

“What the hell is she doing?” asked one.

“They must have offered her at least a million and some spare change to do that.

“I don’t see this going well for her at all. Regardless, I hope she does well in there.”

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