Paige VanZant finished the final fight on her current UFC contract and is now a free agent.
Leading up to UFC 251 and her fight against Amanda Ribas, VanZant openly discussed her free agency, telling South Morning China Post, “Change is very hard, but I’m looking for the best opportunity for my future and I don’t know what that is. I think it’s going to take negotiation with the UFC and negotiations with other organisations to know who’s going to offer me the brighter future. It might come down to other factors outside just a dollar figure. It’s really about who’s going to propel me to the best of their ability. There could be a few factors behind that. I do well in fighting. I do well in Hollywood. I do well in all kinds of ventures that come my way. A lot of it will be about who’s going to open those doors for me.”
She continued, "There’s a lot of amazing organisations out there. If there wasn’t, I would never be testing free agency. I do honestly have a really good relationship with the UFC. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. The hard thing is, other than my compensation, I am very happy with the UFC. So it’s not going to be as crazy as a negotiation process as a lot of people think. There’s a lot to talk about, but I think it’s going to be a fairly easy conversation.”
At UFC 251, VanZant was quickly tapped out by Ribas, leaving her value somewhat in doubt as a 8-5 fighter with losses in three of her last four.
When asked about VanZant entering the free agent market during the UFC 251 post-fight press conference, Dana White said, "I like Paige. It's like [Curtis] Blaydes when he last fought. When you talk all that stuff 'I'm not being paid enough' and fighting inconsistently and then get smoked, she should definitely test free agency."
That settles that.
If you missed anything from UFC 251, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.