Heading into the final bout of her contract on UFC 251, Paige VanZant is eager to test the free agent market for the first time since signing with the promotion in 2014. The flyweight has had a lot of good marketing opportunities even on her earlier years as a young prospect, appearing in TV shows like Dancing With the Stars and Chopped in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Her popularity has skyrocketed through the years — she has 2.5 million followers on Instagram — but it hasn’t exactly translated to better pay from the UFC itself.
“I make 46,000 dollars to fight, 46 (to show) and 46 (to win). I’m not going to hide that, everyone knows,” VanZant told ESPN. “I can make way more money than that just promoting brands on Instagram. That should say something.
“I’ve made more money on Dancing With the Stars than I have in my entire UFC career combined — every fight, every win, every bonus.”
VanZant, who has struggled with repeated arm injuries in the last couple of years, has only fought twice after 2016. This has extended her contract with the promotion, and she is excited to get a better deal, wherever that may be.
“I’ve been with the UFC for six years now. Through this time — which is crazy — I’m still on the same contract that I was on before I fought Rose (Namajunas) when I was 22 years old. And I’m 26 now,” she said.
“I just feel like a regular extension isn’t what I want, and I want to prove my worth and my value. I want a brand-new contract,” said VanZant. “And I’m really excited to get that opportunity and really test the free agency because how do you know what your value is unless you can go test it amongst all the other sharks?”
VanZant (8-4), will look to end her contract on a two-fight winning on July 11 in Abu Dhabi. She has a tough final fight ahead of her though, being matched up against Amanda Ribas (9-1), who is undefeated in the UFC with quality wins over Mackenzie Dern and Randa Markos.
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