Paige VanZant: “I’m Not Ready To Leave The UFC Just Yet, I Still Have A Long Career In Front Of Me, But WWE Is Also An Amazing Organization”
Paige VanZant is probably the fighter with most wonderful kicks in UFC Women’s Strawweight and Flyweight division. Unfortunately, she broke her hand in her last match at the beginning of 2018. “PVZ” had to go under the knife two times to fix the broken limb. Yet, “12-Gauge” has finally recovered. Her fight versus Rachael Ostovich is slated for UFC Fight Night 143 on January 19, 2019.
Paige VanZant stated that she barely waited to get back inside the Octagon again. (via MMAWeekly.com)
“The layoff has been difficult in the sense that I just really want to fight again. I’ve had long layoffs before and found success off the back of them. I don’t believe in ring rust; I think if you are prepared then that’s enough. I just can’t wait to get back in there,” added the 24-year-old.
Paige VanZant returns after two losses in a row. “12-Gauge” was defeated to Jessica Rose-Clark via unanimous decision on January 14, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 124. She also lost the previous fight to Michelle Waterson via rear-naked choke at UFC On Fox 22 on December 17, 2016. “PVZ” confessed that she had a hard time recovering from negative results.
“It’s really challenging after a loss. All eyes are on me and you can’t hide away from it. Social media can be tough as well because fans come down hard on you, but losses don’t define who I am and I need to constantly remind myself of that,” she said.
Paige VanZant would like to get a title shot in the future. According to “12-Gauge”, the division is small, so two-three good fights should be enough to prove herself.
“I still think I have to prove myself before I get any title shot. I know the division is quite small, but I need at least two or three wins before I get there. I’d obviously love if that opportunity came sooner, but I also want to give myself the proper time to prepare for something like that. I want to earn it,” said VanZant.
Her match versus Rachel Ostovich is set in UFC Women’s Flyweight division. Yet, “12-Gauge” bounces between 115 and 125 pounds with a good reason. She hopes for a rematch versus Rose Namajunas one day.
“I see myself as the perfect fit between 115 pounds and 125 pounds and I intend to bounce back and forth depending on what opportunities arise and right now I see my opportunity at 125 pounds, but who knows where I might go after my next fight,” she said. “The Rose fight is definitely an option down the line. We went five rounds already and that’s an opportunity that could be explored.”
But her natural weight is 137 pounds. So, Paige VanZant confesses that she had a hard time cutting weight at 115. Health risks are huge.
“When I fight at 115 pounds, it’s very difficult because I have to cut quite a lot of weight. I walk around at about 137 pounds, so it was causing a lot of harm to my body by cutting so much weight. As a female it’s also much more dangerous cutting so much weight because of the damage it can do to the body,” she added.
VanZant was also asked about the current status of UFC Men’s Flyweight division too. She claims that the fact UFC wanted to get rid of it sounded sad. Yet, she understands the move. According to “12-Gauge”, it is an entertainment company. The primary goal is money earning.
“It’s really sad because there is a lot of talent in that division, so I hate to see them go, but I know there’s a lot of other successful organizations that they can transfer to. It’s hard for the UFC because most men aren’t that small. So, while the top five are incredibly talented, there aren’t a lot of men who are that size, so it’s difficult for it to be a strong division,” VanZant explained.
“The UFC just has to go where they’ll make money. They’re an entertainment company and perhaps don’t see the value in it. But it is hard; I am a huge fan of Demetrious (Johnson) and he has been amazing for this sport and he was a great champion. I’m very excited to see his future at ONE and I think he is going to be great for them,” she added.
Paige VanZant says she didn’t plan to join WWE soon cause she hoped for a long-time career in the Octagon. “PVZ” is attending global tech conference Web Summit in Portugal at the moment. Stephanie McMahon, WWE chief brand officer, is one of the main speakers there. “12-Gauge” spoke to her on Tuesday.
“I’m not ready to leave the UFC just yet. I love being a professional fighter and I still have a long career ahead of me. I also think the WWE is an amazing organization and it’s a very athletic entertainment industry which would suit me,” she admitted.
“There’s probably huge potential for a crossover down the line and of course I’m a big fan of what they do, so it would be great to be a part of. I got the opportunity to talk to Stephanie for a little bit on Tuesday which was great.”
What are your thoughts on this? Also, do you believe Paige VanZant could send Rachael Ostovich to sleep? She has some fabulous kicks under her arsenal! It would be two collision of two very hot UFC fighters!