At last night’s UFC 251 Paige VanZant was handed her fourth loss in her last six fights. The former Dancing With The Stars finalist was subbed by Amanda Ribas—via armbar—in just over two minutes.
UFC President Dana White gave his former headliner a harsh review during his post-fight press conference (per MMA Fighting).
“When you talk all that stuff, ‘I’m not being paid enough,’ and fighting inconsistently, one time in the last year, injuries, and then got smoked in the first round of the fight, she should definitely test free agency.”
The comments White was referring to include VanZant’s disclosure that she made more money on one season of Dancing With The Stars in 2016 than she had over the entirety of her six-year UFC career. Recently VanZant also announced that the Ribas fight was the last on her UFC contract and that she would be looking at other promotions once that was over.
“I need to be paid to make it worth it,” said VanZant when discussing her potential free agency with MMA Fighting.
VanZant joined the UFC in 2014 and had a successful debut; beating Kailin Curran by TKO. She then beat Felice Herrig by decision and Alex Chambers by submission. Those wins vaulted VanZant to a main event opposite future UFC strawweight champion Rose Namjunas in 2015.
Around this time VanZant became a favoured marketing tool of the UFC and often appeared in promotional spots for the company. Against Namajunas she lost via rear naked choke. She then rebounded with a highlight reel switch kick KO over Bec Rawlings. That earned her another main event slot—opposite Michelle Waterson.
She lost to the ‘Karate Hottie’ and Jessica-Rose Clark immediately afterwards. She then beat Rachael Ostovich in her last appearance prior to UFC 251.
In addition to appearing on Dancing With The Stars, VanZant also appeared on the Food Network show Chopped. During her UFC tenure she also modeled for Nike and Columbia Sportswear. In 2018 the 26-year-old released a biography titled Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life.
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