After undergoing a third surgery on her right arm, Paige VanZant is already looking towards her octagon return and beyond that, the end of her current UFC contract.
VanZant (8-4) last fought in January of this year, submitting Rachael Ostovich via armbar and snapping a two fight losing streak in the process. Since December 2016, VanZant has fought just twice, with multiple arm injuries preventing her from building momentum. That's currently the case too, with VanZant's latest gruesome surgery halting her from continuing a new streak of the winning variety.
Nonetheless, '12 Gauge' is positive and hopes to return in December. However, she is admittedly cautious to rush back too soon after her recent struggles. When she does step back in the octagon though, VanZant will be making the final walk of her UFC contract. Appearing on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, VanZant confirmed the news and announced her intentions to test free agency once the deal is complete.
"I have one fight left on my UFC contract," VanZant said, responding openly when asked if she'll be testing free agency. "I am yeah and for me, I wanna prove my worth. Obviously with my arm injuries I’ve had three surgeries in a row now. Even though I’m so popular I guess, I’ve been doing amazing things outside of the UFC.
"Sports Illustrated, Dancing with the Stars, all these amazing things. I wanna show ‘hey, I’m a huge player in this division and I’m a huge player in the UFC. I think it’s gonna take one more fight to prove that. More than anything, I’m just focused on getting back in the cage. I don’t wanna put any pressure on myself or any stress behind anything. I just wanna fight."
VanZant is currently ranked 14th in the UFC's Women Flyweight standings, going 1-1 since making the move up in weight. Overall, VanZant is 5-3 since joining the promotion, making her octagon debut in November 2014.