After undergoing a third surgery on her right arm, Paige VanZant is positive, already looking ahead to her eventual octagon return.
Appearing on this week's Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, VanZant detailed the injury and provided a timeline for her recovery too. “I’m about four or five days out of surgery. Surgery number three, it’s been rough. This one though I will say, I actually have an extremely positive mindset about it," she said.
"So I broke it that first time, had surgery. Surgery failed, broke it again, had surgery the 2nd time. This one, I fought in January, beat Rachael Ostovich, was sparring the week after and I fractured in a completely different spot in my arm. I fractured around the plate," VanZant explained. "Unfortunately, it didn’t heal correctly. They thought it was going to heal the way a normal bone should but because I wasn’t casted, there was too much movement at the fracture site."
VanZant took to Instagram following her surgery, posting graphic images of the procedure in process. That decision was deliberate though, with '12 Gauge' hoping to highlight the serious nature of her injuries. "This is the third plate on my arm, I’m feeling good though! The reason I posted all those nasty pictures of my arm on Instagram, I wanted people to see that it’s not just a broken arm. I’m going in to have my whole arm basically reconstructed, and this is the 3rd time I’ve gone through this whole process."
Nonetheless, VanZant is optimistic that these struggles won't hinder her fighting future, telling Helwani that this time, she'll be taking her time before rushing back into the cage. "I’m only 25, I have a long fighting career ahead of me. Of course it sucks, there’s a lot of people who’ve had a lot more injuries than me but this has been one really frustrating one. I will say, I have to be 100% honest with myself, I rushed and I wasn’t even supposed to take the fight with Rachael (Ostovich). My arm never technically got cleared.
"I went to four doctors and I finally found one that’d clear me. I just wasn’t honestly ready. I made it through the fight which was great but then I came back and fractured my arm immediately. I was just thankful enough that I was able to win a fight before fracturing it again. So I just need to be completely honest with myself and go through the physical therapy and really wait it out to make sure that I get the genuine, honest doctor clearance that my arm is ready to take impact again."
As for when that'll be, VanZant said that the injury requires a 12-week recovery, hoping she'll be ready to return before 2019's close. “It's 12 weeks from last Thursday so we’re one week into it so far," she said. "There’s always a really big card at the end of the year for the UFC so I’m hoping for that end of the year card.”