Paige VanZant made her flyweight division debut at UFC Fight Night St. Louis and suffered a decision loss to Jessica-Rose Clark.
Fabiano Scherner is PVZ’s coach and he has received some flak for letting her fight with a broken arm, but the coach says PVZ didn’t appear to have any pain and that’s why the bout continued.
“I was asking her to stay away from the clinch and keep the distance to use her boxing and kickboxing, and she said, ‘My arm is broken,’” Scherner said to MMA Fighting. “She wasn’t feeling any pain, so I thought it could be a fissure, that sometimes hurts as much as a fracture. She said she fractured it in the first round, but she didn’t remember that the spinning back fist was in the second round. Everything that happened in the second round led me to believe that it wasn’t a serious injury because the way she continued fighting, you couldn’t notice it. I went back to the corner and asked the other coaches if they thought it was really broken, and they couldn’t give me a concrete answer. I kept telling her to hit with the right hand, and when I saw that she wasn’t throwing punches, I knew it was more serious than I thought. It made sense later why she wasn’t defended the triangle attempt the way we trained. We even trained that defense earlier that day, but finding out about the fracture made sense after all.”
VanZant was taken to a local hospital after the fight and it is unknown right now just when she can compete again. Scherner says that PVZ competing with a broken arm should eliminate any doubts people have about her fighting in the UFC.
“If someone doubted why she was in the UFC, it’s answered now,” Scherner said. “She’s there to fight. I don’t remember anyone else in UFC history, maybe she’s the first fighter to fight through a broken arm. I’ve seen broken noses, broken hands, broken wrists, but a broken arm like that, I think she’s the first. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t see anyone else fighting the way she fought with that injury.”
The injured fighter has a 4-3-0 record in the UFC (7-4-0 overall), but hasn’t earned a victory in almost two years.