UFC star Paige VanZant made her ‘Dancing With The Stars’ debut last night as the long-running show’s 23rd season got underway on NBC.
As well as fighting PVZ also has an extensive background in dancing, helped by the fact her parents owned a dance studio, and that experience helped the 21 year-old and her partner on the show, Mark Ballas earn 7’s all around from the judges on the night for a total score of 21 – just off the top score of 23 on the night.
Given that she’s so young and only has four fights in the UFC so far, the fact that she’s now getting this level of mainstream attention is unprecedented and can only be good for her career, even if appearing on the show means that her return to the Octagon has to be delayed for several months.
It’s also set to give a big boost to her bank account, with earnings for previous competitors on the NBC show believed to have been paid a base salary of $125,000 for the first two weeks, with a total of $360,000 potentially being on the table if she made it to the finals.
Given that her last fight in the UFC, a loss to Rose Namajunas, saw her take home only $40,000 it’s hard to blame her for jumping at this golden opportunity.