Coming off her big win over Bec Rawlings at the last UFC event, it’s time to take notice of Paige VanZant. She is a rising star in MMA, so we should all learn her name now because you are going to hear it a lot in the coming months. This is everything you need to know about the young fighter.
Paige VanZant is originally from Oregon and currently fights in the Strawweight division of the UFC. She is only 22-years-old and stands 5’4″ and competes at 115 lbs. VanZant has been fighting since 2012 where she has 7 wins in her 9 match career. With two wins each coming from knockout and submission. The other three were decision. Prior to UFC, she competed in Invicta FC.
You may also recognize Paige from her appearance on the hit reality competition show Dancing with the Stars. Her and her partner made it to the final round of the show but they ended up taking second place. One thing was clear, the lady has moves, grace and excellent body control. All valuable tools for a fighter in the octagon.
The Bec Rawlings fight was an huge showcase for VanZant. She took a few hard strikes early in the first but stayed on her feet. She weathered Rawlings’ storm and counterattacked. She kept the pressure up and never relented. This tenacity is becoming her calling card. That plus some “wild” strikes of her own. We have seen on many occasions where Paige VanZant has tried spinning and jumping maneuvers. Many critics say these types of moves should be avoided but it was one of those kicks that ended the fight.
Paige and her team call that KO strike “kick the can.” It looks very The Karate Kid to me. Can you say Crane Kick, Daniel-san? I think I’m most impressed by the fact that this wasn’t some super clean win. It showed some backbone to get knocked around for a bit then seize control. That’s what a champ does. Below are video highlights of the fight.
Dana White and UFC have a new fighting celebrity in the making. Paige VanZant isn’t Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor status just yet but watch out. The sky is the limit for this talent. The women of the UFC are providing some of the most interesting bouts on any given card and we are excited to see what’s next for the lady they call “12 gauge.”