Paige VanZant appears to be free to test free agency as her contract with today’s leading MMA promotion is done and dusted, following UFC 251, which is now in history. In her final appearance inside the Octagon this past weekend on “Fight Island”, the American star was submitted by Brazilian Amanda Ribas half way through the first round.
A free agent is a competitor, who can sign with other organizations (sports leagues, teams, clubs, etc), meaning they are not under an exclusive contract with one particular company. Those fighters signed with the UFC are not allowed to compete outside the promotion.
While, one can say “smoking hot”, the other one can insist that the 26-year-old beauty “got smoked”. Both, perhaps, are right.
“I like Paige,” UFC President Dana White told reporters during the UFC 251 post-fight press conference, when asked about his interest to talk to “PVZ” to renew and/or offer a new contract. “It’s like [Curtis] Blaydes, when Blaydes fought last. When you talk all that stuff, ‘I’m not being paid enough,’ and fighting inconsistently, one time in the last year, injuries, and then got smoked in the first round of the fight… She should definitely test free agency.”
Paige VanZant got to prominence during her participation in the American “Dancing with the Stars” Season 22 held from March 21 to May 24, 2016. Although not lifting gold, partnered with professional dancer Mark Ballas, she succeeded to get the second spot on the pedestal.
In 2017 “PVZ” appeared in a celebrity cooking show “Chopped”. After going through three rounds (appetizer, entree and dessert) she won the competition.
She also modeled for Nike and Columbia Sportswear, and was featured in 2010–2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Prior to the fight against Ribas, VanZant told ESPN that “a regular extension of her contract” was not of interest. She said she wanted a new contract and test free agency.
“I just feel like a regular extension isn’t what I want, and I want to prove my worth and my value, and I want a brand-new contract,” she said. “And I’m really excited to get that opportunity and really test the free agency because how do you know what your value is unless you can go test it amongst all the other sharks?”
Paige VanZant was also one of the star athletes, alongside Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal, who were recently vocal about their pay in the UFC. VanZant said she made $46,000 USD (approx $66,000 AUD) to step inside the MMA cage, plus the same amount as the win bonus.
“I can make way more money than that just promoting brands on Instagram,” she said earlier in another interview with ESPN“. “That should say something. Why would I step away from all the amazing success I had on Dancing with the Stars? I made more money on Dancing with the Stars than I have in my entire UFC career combined. Every fight, every win, every bonus. And it just shows that the money is out there.”
Post-fight, VanZant took it to Instagram, where she is followed by over 2.5 million fans, to congratulate Amanda Ribas. Despite the defeat, she stated she was going to get back on top.
“Congrats to Amanda on such an amazing performance,” she wrote. “It was truly an honor to share the octagon with you. As for me, I will rise up as I always do. I can’t wait to see where God takes me next. – PVZ”
With the defeat Paige VanZant dropped to 8-5. She made her Octagon debut in November 2014 and won five out of nine bouts in total.