After her recent loss, Paige VanZant isn’t looking to go back on the drawing board. Instead, she just wants to get back to action as soon as possible.
VanZant lost her most recent UFC outing against Amanda Ribas on the main card of UFC 251. The fight was the last one on her UFC contract. The flyweight had made it clear that she wanted to test free agency once her contract with the UFC expired. However, as of now, she wants nothing else other than getting back to doing what she loves – fighting.
The Instagram star, who boasts of 2.6 million followers, has had nagging injuries in her arm. She broke it for the first time two years ago in her flyweight debut against Jessica Rose-Clark. Before UFC 251, VanZant said that she planned on having another surgery. However, after the loss, she has changed her mind.
“I don’t want to have surgery again,” VanZant said while talking to MMA Fighting. “Before the fight, I had said I might need to have one more arm surgery to feel 100 percent, but even through this, I do feel 100 percent, and I’m hoping to sign a new fight promotion with somebody and fight this year if I can.”
Ribas made quick work of VanZant in their last fight ending it via first-round submission. Consequently, VanZant didn’t suffer much damage from the fight. The former ‘Dancing With the Stars’ veteran doesn’t know much about how the negotiation for the fight works. She hopes the formalities are done as soon as possible so that she can fight this year.
VanZant isn’t going through the best phase of her career, both professionally and medically. She has racked up only two wins in her last six outings. In Paige’s defense, her most recent opponent Ribas is a highly talented prospect.
After the armbar submission loss, VanZant was emotional. However, she still cried less than her previous setbacks.
“I’m sad about the way it went, but this is the first time in my entire career where I get emotional after losses, and most times I’ll cry for like a week, but this fight, I only cried for like an hour after the loss,” she said. “For the first time in my life, I finally realized the losses definitely don’t define you.
“Maybe I did have to hit rock bottom. It’s just going to make my comeback story that much greater coming off a loss and an arm injury, and I have 10-plus years to fight and show off how good I am.”
As VanZant tests the waters of free agency, Bellator is one of the biggest contenders in line to sign her. Her husband, Austin Vanderford, finds under the same promotion. While VanZant identifies herself as a fighter, the possibility of a crossover to WWE is not completely off the charts. Her massive following could set the stage for her pro-wrestling debut.
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