Paige Michelle VanZant is an American mixed martial artist, author, and model. VanZant was signed to the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In August 2020, VanZant signed a contract to fight exclusively in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Outside of mixed martial arts, she has appeared in the television series Dancing with the Stars and Chopped.
VanZant made her professional MMA debut on June 30, 2012, at UWF’s Tournament of Warriors finale against Jordan Nicole Gaza in Corpus Christi, Texas, winning by split decision. On September 22, 2012, she faced Amber Stautzenberger at Premier Fight Series 2 and won via unanimous decision. VanZant marked her UFC debut by defeating Curran by TKO in the third round, in a fight that would win Fight of the Night honors.
VanZant faced Felice Herrig on April 18, 2015, in Newark, New Jersey, at UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold. Following a competitive first round, VanZant eventually overwhelmed Herrig with her grappling, winning by unanimous decision. Following her time on Dancing with the Stars, VanZant returned to the cage to face Bec Rawlings on August 27, 2016, at UFC on Fox: Maia vs. Condit. She won the fight via KO in the second round after landing a flying head kick and a flurry of follow-up punches. The win earned VanZant her first Performance of the Night bonus award. In August 2020, VanZant signed a four-bout contract to fight exclusively in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. VanZant has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
VanZant released her biography, Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life on April 10, 2018.
Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up with Paige VanZant is an American mixed martial artist, author, and model to talk about the secret to success, diet, and exercise routine.
You were born in Dundee, Oregon, and raised in Dayton, Oregon. You were brought up dancing ballet, jazz, and hip hop for over 13 years. You later moved to Sparks, Nevada, and came across UFC veteran Ken Shamrock’s gym, where you began training in boxing and other martial arts, you won an amateur fight at the age of 18 years, and made your professional MMA debut on June 30, 2012, at UWF’s Tournament of Warriors finale against Jordan Nicole Gaza in Corpus Christi, Texas, and won. This propelled your American mixed martial artist career to the height where you have been at the top of the world of MMA and this August 2020, you signed a contract to fight exclusively in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Tell us more about this spectacular professional journey as a Mixed Martial Artist?
I have had an amazing mixed martial arts career so far. I have been very blessed with huge opportunities and had the drive and competitive nature to accomplish a lot at a young age. I’m very excited about this next chapter in my life which I am about to take on. I have just signed with bareknuckle fighting championship where I will be a professional bareknuckle boxer. Making a career change is always scary and nerve-racking. But I’m working very hard and I’m excited for the challenge.
You returned to the cage to face Bec Rawlings on August 27, 2016, at UFC on Fox: Maia vs. Condit. You won the fight via KO in the second round after landing a flying head kick and a flurry of follow-up punches. The win earned you the first Performance of the Night bonus award? Tell us about this memorable win in your career?
This fight absolutely is a stand out in my mind as one of my favorite accomplishments. As a professional fighter you always want to show your best skills. I feel that this really showed the hard work and dedication that I put to the sport, it also made for an amazing highlight reel.
You are a world-leading American mixed martial artist, author, model, media personality, reality television star, and a brand ambassador. How do you manage such a remarkable multi-dimensional lifestyle?
To be truthful my life can be very stressful at times. But I don’t feel like I have a real “job”. I am so lucky and blessed that I have made my passion my career. Everything I do I’m very passionate about so it makes it feel like it’s not work. I also have an amazing support system that surrounds me my husband gets me through every tough day. And keeps me inspired when I feel overwhelmed.
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