When Brock Lesnar decided to make the jump to UFC for UFC 200, a lot of people wondered what would happen with WWE and the UFC. Clearly, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon would not let a talent like Lesnar go anywhere if he felt he wouldn’t get something in return. Obviously, Lesnar is still under contract to the WWE, and the company is basically lending him out to the company for their biggest show ever.
It seems that McMahon made a deal that would most likely allow him to use UFC fighters off and on, which is clearly a big deal for the company. A lot of the UFC stars are big wrestling fans and have stated that they would love to work with WWE. One person WWE would love to work with is UFC Strawweight stand-out Paige VanZant. Paige recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars and did quite well on the show, giving her a bigger audience than she had before.
She was also set to take part in the new Kickboxer film, which would make her appearance with the WWE a big deal. It was rumored a little while back that WWE had an interest in bringing her in for WWE SummerSlam in August, which would have been good for the promotion. It looks like those rumors were clearly true, but sadly, Paige stated that she had to turn down the WWE’s offer. She also claimed she would no longer be part of the new Kickboxer film.
She told ESPN, “Right now I’m 100-percent fight-focused and I would love to participate in anything the WWE has to offer when the timing’s right as long as it works with my fight schedule. I love WWE and if they ever reached out to me again I think I would definitely love to work with them but right now I’m focused on Bec Rawlings.”
When it came to bowing out of Kickboxer, she claimed, “Fighting definitely comes first. I’ve recently declined to be in the ‘Kickboxer’ movie because I want to be 100 percent for this fight and train 100 percent, and filming that movie was kind of going to get in the way. We couldn’t get a date set that worked with my fight schedule.”
VanZant happens to be fighting Rawlings on FOX UFC Fight Night on August 27, which is clearly a big deal for her. She needs to climb up the division to hopefully get a title fight in the future, but she has to be focused to reach such a level. She is beautiful, for sure, but she has been quite successful in her MMA career. She is currently 3-1. She’s not at a Ronda Rousey level just yet, although the company would love for her to be one day.
One has to respect Paige VanZant for being so focused on her fight. She turned down two huge offers to do so. Movie offers don’t come around all that often, especially action films that could pick a variety of people to fill a role who already have acting experience. She is a hot name due to the Dancing with the Stars fame, so the time is now to make a move into things outside the UFC. However, unlike others before her, she made sure the job that got her into everything else was her first priority.
If you’re the UFC, you have to respect VanZant if nothing else for this. She has decided to turn down roles just to make sure she beats her upcoming opponent. She is driven to be the best and you cannot do that with a ton of distractions. Look at Ronda Rousey for just a small example of this. She was an undefeated force, but possibly overextended herself. She lost focus most likely, and it cost her the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship to a person few knew of before: Holly Holm.
We have not seen Ronda in the octagon since that time. The loss did a lot to her as well, both physically and emotionally. While Paige has not put up the kind of resume Rousey has just yet, she is starting to get the offers Ronda did. However, she has decided to make sure she has only one focus. Everything else would come after. While movie roles may not always come around, WWE will most likely attempt to bring her in at another time. Clearly, both Paige VanZant and the WWE are interested.
[image via UFC]