Paige VanZant Says There Is More Out There For Her

Paige VanZant may have fought for the final time in the UFC at UFC 251, suffering a first round submission loss to Amanda Ribas.

A defeated VanZant says the bout against Ribas and the eventual result is exactly what the UFC wanted.

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“This is the exact fight the UFC wanted,” VanZant said to MMA Fighting. “They kind of do this to people when they’re on the last fight on their contract. They give them, like, the perfect style matchup. I went against somebody, she’s 10-1, I’ve almost had layoffs, calculating like three years I’ve only been able to fight once cause I keep getting injured. Obviously, it was the very toughest opponent they could give me for my one returning fight I had left. I didn’t play into what the UFC wanted. Of course, I still had confidence going into it. Amanda was so talented. I’m so excited to see where her career goes.”

VanZant went 5-4-0 during her time in the UFC, with notable wins coming over Felice Herrig, Alex Chambers and Bec Rawlings.

The fighter, who has been very public about wanting a higher paycheck from the UFC, also says that there is more out there for her.

“I feel the narrative has been pushed where I feel like the media almost twists the way that I say things,” VanZant said. “‘Oh Paige is complaining about pay.’ I just think I want to be paid more. No matter where you work, if you feel you’re undervalued, there should be absolutely no shame in asking for a raise. Especially if you’ve done your time and put your work in. I’ve been in the UFC for six years. Transparently, I lost this fight obviously. I made $46,000 this fight. I haven’t fought in 18 months. So I’ve made $46,000 in 18 months being [what] people have said is a UFC star. I just feel like there’s more out there for me. I’ve always said I could do anything I wanted in life. I went to college when I was 16. I’ve done TV work. I’ve auditioned for all kinds of stuff but I want to fight. At the same breath, it has to be worth it. Because I am hurting myself and damaging myself for this sport.”

There is no word yet on where VanZant could sign with next, but her husband in Austin Vanderford is a member of the Bellator MMA roster.

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