Paige VanZant Stats:
From: Newberg, Oregon USA
Fights Out Of: Sacramento, California USA
Height: 5′ 4″ ( 162 cm )
Weight: 115 lb ( 52 kg )
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Paige VanZant Biography
At just 21 years of age UFC strawweight fighter, Paige VanZant, is currently being touted as having the potential to be the next big thing in women’s MMA.
Born in March of 1994, just a few months after the UFC held its first ever event, VanZant didn’t grow up wanting to be a fighter. Instead her natural good looks led to modelling work from an early age, while she also spent her free time in dance classes and cheerleading.
However, VanZant was also something of a tomboy, though, enjoying riding dirtbikes, fishing, and hunting, and so when she stumbled across Ken Shamrock’s gym in Las Vegas at the age of 15 she decided to sign up for boxing classes and later transitioned to mixed martial arts.
When she turned 18, VanZant was offered an amateur MMA fight by her coach and agreed to it on a whim. She emerged victorious and it was to be a revelatory moment for ’12 Gauge’ who realized that she could turn her hobby into a career.
Soon after she accepted an offer to turn professional with her debut coming in June of 2012 at a UWF event which she won by split decision, while later that year she earned another victory on the scorecards.
In 2013 respected all-female promotion Invicta FC came calling, leading to a fight with another up and coming talent Tecia Torres who would also eventually make her way to the UFC. VanZant lost by unanimous decision to her more experienced opponent but rebounded a few months later with a submission victory at Cage Wars 15.
Later that year VanZant received a life-changing phone call from UFC president Dana White who invited her to appear on The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 which was set to usher in a new strawweight division to the promotion and crown it’s first ever champion.
VanZant could barely contain her excitement, but just a few months later she was told that at 20 years old she was in fact too young to appear on the show. Luckily the UFC didn’t leave her hanging, offering her an opportunity to sign directly with the promotion instead.
A back injury delayed her debut which eventually took place in November of 2014, by which point she’d been out of action for 18 months. Nonetheless, she claimed victory over Kaitlin Curran with a third round TKO win and won ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors in the process.
VanZant was already being singled out as having the ‘it’ factor and earned an endorsement deal from Reebok alongside a small handful of far more established UFC stars which caused some controversy at the time.
Next up came a convincing unanimous decision victory over Felice Herrig on the main card of UFC On FOX 15 in April of 2015. Building on that momentum she has since defeated Alex Chambers by submission on the pay-per-view main card at UFC 191.
Now placed No.6 on the UFC’s 115lb rankings with a 6-2 record, VanZant’s star continues to rise as she headlined UFC Fight Night 80 opposite Joanne Calderwood, in December 2015.
In 2016, Paige was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars.