it is commonplace for parents to tell their children not to fight. What they fail to mention is that, if you are really good at it, you can make a career out of beating people for sport. Such is the case of Paige VanZant, an American Mixed Martial Artist, author, and former model who became famous for the myriad number of victories she has recorded as a fighter.
Paige VanZant was born on the 26th of March, 1994 in Dundee, Oregon. Though born in Dundee, she was raised in Dayton. Her parents owned a dance studio which gave her the opportunity to learn ballet, jazz, and hip hop dances for over 13 years. As a teenager, Paige appeared in a mop commercial, an experience that came useful during her appearances on television series like Dancing With The Stars and Chopped.
Considered a tomboy and a lover of the outdoors while growing up, her hobbies included riding dirt bikes and fishing. She joins the ranks of celebrities that were bullied in high school, an experience that inspired her to become a martial artist, learning how to defend herself in the process.
You could say it was already written in the stars for Paige to become a martial arts fighter. Spending years in her parents’ dance studio had incorporated in her the body movement skills that all great fighters possess. And so, when Paige VanZant moved with her family to Sparks, Nevada, she found UFC veteran Ken Shamrock’s gym while she looked for a dance studio; it was fate meeting preparedness. It was at his gym that she began training in boxing and other martial arts.
After winning an amateur fight at age 18, Paige Vanzant went on to make her professional MMA debut on the 30th of June, 2012, at the UWF’s Tournament of Warriors finale against Jordan Nicole Gaza in Corpus Christi, Texas, winning her first fight by a split decision. In her second fight against Amber Stautzenberger at Premier Fight Series 2, she won by a unanimous decision.
Her first loss came at the hands of Tecia Torres at Invicta FC 4. The event held at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City on the 5th of January, 2013. However, her talent was recognized as her fighting style got admired by many within the sports. Typically known for attacks with aggressive grappling and seeking to finish with strikes, her style includes ground-and-pound, dirty boxing, and a wide variety of clinch striking. In addition to her striking, Paige VanZant also has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
She has had an excellent career so far. In December 2013, the sportswoman was announced as one of 11 women signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for its new division, the Strawweight Division.
In August 2014, her first fight in the Strawweight Division was announced and she was supposed to face Kailin Curran on the 4th of October, 2014, in Halifax. Unfortunately, fate had other plans as she suffered a back injury, forcing the fight to be rescheduled.
The fight was worth the wait for the young fighter who marked her UFC debut by defeating Curran by TKO in the third round, in a fight that won Fight of the Night honors. The win brought fame and fans to her doorstep. In February 2015, Paige signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok. A deal that sparked controversy because she had only had one UFC fight at the time.
Paige VanZant’s rise in the UFC continued as she won her next two fights, one by unanimous decision and the other via an armbar submission in the third round. Her first loss in the UFC came against Rose Namajunas who defeated her via submission in the fifth round. She went on to eventually finish 12th in her run in the strawweight division.
In August 2017, the dogged fighter moved to the Flyweight division. After a few setbacks due to injuries and illness, she had her fight first on the 14th of January, 2018, where she lost to Jessica Rose-Clark after breaking her arm in the first round, making it her fourth loss in her professional career. Considering she is still young, the future is still very bright for her career.
Who is The Fiancé, Boyfriend or Husband?
Paige VanZant is engaged to a fellow fighter, Austin Vanderford, a professional MMA fighter and a two time NAIA All-American and national champion wrestler. The two got engaged in January 2018 and considering their shared profession, they seem like a match made in heaven. Austin, who had his first amateur fight in 2015, made his professional debut in 2017.
Paige VanZant’s Net Worth
Although young, she has risen quickly to fame in the world of professional fighting. Becoming an official UFC fighter in 2014, she gets paid $20k per fight and has signed a few sponsorship deals. Paige has also written a book about her background and her rise to fame. She is currently worth $3.5 million.