A rare combination of beauty and brilliance means Paige VanZant always seemed destined for success, but her early days with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) were anything but.
The Oregon native amassed a 3-1 record with smaller promotions before receiving her big league call-up, being signed as one of 11 fighters in the UFC’s new strawweight division in December 2013 From there, the plan was for VanZant to compete in the 20 season of The Ultimate Fighter, the finale of which would decide the first strawweight champion.
In an apparent error on the part of the producers, however, VanZant was later dropped from contention due to the fact that she was only 20 at the time. Due to the fact that there would be alcohol in the Ultimate Fighter house during filming, laws required contestants to be at least 21 years old.
She remained on the UFC books, however, and eventually made her UFC debut with a TKO win over Kailin Curran. Injuries meant that breakthrough didn’t come until November 2014, however, nearly 12 months after her first announcement as a UFC fighter.
VanZant, 28, won twice more in 2015, improving his UFC record to a perfect 3-0 after beating Felice Herrig by decision and submitting Alex Chambers. It was largely downhill for the fighter from there, as she lost four of her next six fights before leaving the UFC in 2020.
The Ultimate Fighter served as a springboard to success for many on the UFC roster, including current welterweight king Kamaru Usman, former middleweight champion Michael Bisping and fan favorite Nate Diaz. . However, VanZant found success despite being turned down from the show and has arguably enjoyed his greatest accomplishments since leaving the promotion.
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After back-to-back losses in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), VanZant turned to a different profession and made her All Elite Wrestling (AEW) debut in September 2021. She has since signed a contract with the promotion in March and made several significant contributions in the ring.
This is in addition to the online empire that VanZant has built by selling content through adult subscription sites. the old Dancing with the stars the contestant regularly posts sultry snaps of exotic locations and tells mma fight last year that she “feels comfortable with her life”.
It’s no wonder VanZant has a huge following in the boxing, MMA, and wrestling communities. There could be a return to MMA in the future considering she only turned 28 in March, but one of the best-known names in the industry can afford to feel satisfied with her journey. so far.