Paige VanZant was too young to be part of The Ultimate Fighter 20 when the UFC picked up her contract from Invicta last year, but the 20-year-old model and dancer will now be making her MMA debut on a different stage.
The UFC announced that VanZant will make her debut match against fellow newcomer Kailin Curren in October. The match, part of UFC Fight Night from Halifax, Nova Scotia, will see VanZant become the youngest female fighter in the history of UFC.
Television viewers almost got their introduction to Paige VanZant, but she was deemed too young for The Ultimate Fighter because there is a chance there would be alcohol in the house.
Despite the setback, the 5-foot-4 fighter from Sparks, Nevada, has the potential to become one of the UFC’s biggest female stars. While she looks the part — Paige is also an aspiring model and dancer — she also has a 3-1 professional record.
Already brimming with potential, Paige VanZant said she is finally putting together all aspects of her fighting game.
“When I fought Tecia Tores I finally came to the realization how much of a mental game fighting is,” VanZant said of her only professional loss. “I have always been mentally focused and prepared before each fight except my fight against her, and it really showed. I know now to never step into the cage unless the only thing on my mind is how i am going to destroy my opponent.”
Paige also seem to have some down-home appeal. While she’s difficult to beat, VanZant admits she has some not-so-tough pre-fight routines.
“I do everything I can to not think about the fight until I am walking out, other wise I have an adrenalin dump. I get my nails done, watch my favorite tv shows, bake cookies ect. What ever sounds nice that day. And then I get to the fights and warm up a little, once I walkout it’s on!!!”
It appears that Paige VanZant may be looking to become a crossover star, following in the footsteps of Ronda Rousey. While Rousey has branched out into acting — recently starring in The Expendables 3 — Paige is trying to make her way in the modeling world. Her fighting website has a section for modeling information and photos, along with contact information for potential booking agents.
[Paige VanZant photo via 12gaugepaigevanzant.com]