The 22nd season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” will feature a UFC fighter for the 3rd time in the show’s history. Women’s strawweight contender Paige VanZant joins the likes of Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, standout NFL WR Antonio Brown, actress Mischa Barton, and Full House (and Fuller House) star Jodie Sweetin on the long-running reality dancing competition. The new season will premiere on Monday, March 21st and end some time in May.
VanZant (6-2) is coming off a lopsided 5th round submission loss to Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s the 21-year-old’s only loss in her 4 UFC fights, and she currently sits at #7 in the official 115 lbs rankings.
FOX Sports’ Damon Martin notes that PVZ’s management team, and not the UFC, led the charge in her joining the show. MMA Inc. also works with Chael Sonnen, who will take part in the next season of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC.
The two other UFC athletes to be on DWTS are Randy Couture, who was the 3rd person eliminated in season 19, and Chuck Liddell, who finished 11th out of 16th in season 9 back in 2009. PVZ will be partnered with Mark Ballas, who won seasons 6 and 8 with Olympic gold medalists Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skater) and Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), respectively.
VanZant has expressed her love for competitive dancing in the past, so perhaps she’ll fare much better than Couture or Liddell ever did.
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