'Got smoked': UFC boss' brutal parting shot for Paige VanZant

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, UFC president Dana White and women's flyweight star Paige VanZant.
Dana White doesn't seem too concerned about Paige VanZant leaving the UFC. Pic: Getty

It wasn't the fairytale end to her UFC contract that Paige VanZant was hoping for and it doesn't appear she'll make a return to the competition anytime soon.

The popular fighter, with a massive Instagram following of more than 3.5 million, suffered an inglorious first round defeat to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 over the weekend, in what was the last fight of her UFC contract.

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Judging by the response from UFC president Dana White after the fight, he's not likely to renew the 26-year-old's deal anytime soon after she decided to test the MMA free agency.

"I like Paige," White said during his post-UFC 251 press conference, before dropping a brutal follow-up to that sentiment.

"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."

White is clearly still miffed by comments from the flyweight star about how little money she has made from UFC over the course of her career.

VanZant claims she has made more money appearing on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ than over the course of her entire UFC career.

Pictured here, UFC fighter Paige VanZant and on the right as a Dancing with the Stars contestant.
Paige VanZant has made more money outside of UFC than inside the Octagon. Pic: Getty/Instagram

"I've added up all the money I've made in the UFC over six years, and I could have just had a regular job with the same pay," VanZant told MMA Fighting's Damon Martin.

"I'm so thankful for everything the UFC has done for me, the platform they've given me.

"This is nothing against the UFC. But the contract I signed is what I signed and I know I need to honour it.

"That's why I'm fighting this last fight out and I was never trying to break it early.

"It's important to fight this fight out, honour my contract and then say listen this is my value and this is what I need to be paid to make it worth it."

VanZant gracious in defeat

With injuries restricting her to just three fights since 2016, VanZant bowed out of the UFC in a whimper, after succumbing to a first-round armbar against Ribas.

It spelled the third loss for the 26-year-old in her last four fights, but VanZant reacted to the disappointment with a classy Instagram post, congratulating Ribas on an "amazing performance".

“It was truly an honour to share the Octagon with you,” VanZant posted.

“As for me, I will rise up as I always do. I can’t wait to see where God takes me next.”

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Aside from her huge social media following, VanZant is one of the most popular pin-ups in the fight world.

A former runner-up in TV show Dancing with the Stars, she was also a finalist on the Food Network's celebrity cooking series Chopped in 2017.

VanZant has also appeared in photoshoots for Sports Illustrated and her naked workout posts during the COVID-19 shutdown have proved hugely popular.

The American has already indicated that a move to the WWE could interest her, meaning she could become the latest to follow Ronda Rousey into the world of professional wrestling.