Paige VanZant and Amanda Ribas will meet at UFC 251, which will serve as the final fight under VanZant’s UFC contract.
PVZ is excited to enter the world of free agency and the fighter says that it is going to be an exciting part of her life.
“I have my heart set and nobody is going to change my mind that I’m fighting my contract out,” VanZant said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via Danny Segura of MMA Junkie). “I don’t know where my future lies – I truly don’t. I think that’s kind of an exciting thing in my life. I’ve been with the UFC for six years now, and through this time I’m still – which is crazy – on the same contract before I fought Rose (Namajunas) at 22 years old, and I’m 26 now. So somehow, through injury, being on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ being on TV, work I’ve done throughout all of this, I’ve been on the exact same contract since I was 22. That’s the contract I signed since I was 22. But I just feel like a regular extension isn’t what I want. I want to prove my worth and my value and I want a brand new contract. I’m really excited to get the opportunity and really test the free agency because how do you know what your value is unless you can go test it among the other sharks?”
VanZant holds a 5-3-0 record in the UFC (8-4-0 overall) and has been with the promotion for over five years.
The fighter says she made more money when appearing on Dancing With The Stars than during her entire run with the UFC.
“So I make $46,000 (to show) and (another) $46,000 (to win),” VanZant said. “I’m not going to hide that because everyone knows. I can make way more money than that just promoting brands on Instagram, and that should say something. Why would I step away from all the amazing success that I have? I made more money on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ than I have in my entire UFC career combined – every fight, every win, every bonus. I love fighting. It’s what I love to do, and for this fight I dropped every single sponsor. I haven’t posted anything on Instagram. Nothing matters to me except this fight and it’s a clean slate for me.”
UFC 251 takes place on Saturday, July 11 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.