Paige VanZant's defiant message after UFC boss' parting shot

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Paige VanZant, pictured here in action at UFC 251.
Paige VanZant lost to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251. Image: Getty

Paige VanZant is hell bent on redemption after her UFC contract ended in embarrassing fashion.

VanZant suffered a lightning-fast loss to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251, tapping out early in the first round.

It marked an inglorious end to her current contract with the UFC - and it now looks as though VanZant will be taking her craft elsewhere.

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After the 26-year-old publicly stated her desire for a better contract (even if it meant leaving UFC), Dana White delivered a brutal parting shot.

“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,” he said after UFC 251.

And it looks like VanZant will do exactly that, expressing her desire to fight again this year.

“I’m hoping to sign a new fight promotion with somebody and fight this year if I can,” she told MMA Fighting.

“I want to fight as soon as possible. In my mind, I’m going to go ahead and delete that last fight and start over.

“I don’t know how long this negotiation stuff goes. I’m hoping quick, cause I definitely don’t have any injuries. I don’t even know if I got hit, so I’m ready to fight again.”

Discussing her UFC contract, VanZant said: “I’m sad about the way it went.”

“For the first time in my life, I finally realised 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 ten-plus years to fight and show off how good I am.”

Dana White, pictured here talking to the media after UFC 251.
Dana White delivered a brutal parting shot for Paige VanZant. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Where will Paige VanZant end up?

Bellator, where VanZant’s husband fights, have expressed a desire to sign VanZant.

She also hasn’t ruled out resigning with the UFC, while the WWE has also been mentioned as a possible landing spot.

Wherever she ends up, VanZant is intent on finding her true worth.

“I’ve been with the UFC for six years now, and through this time I’m still – which is crazy – on the same contract before I fought Rose [Namajunas] at 22-years-old, and I’m 26 now,” she told ESPN recently.

“I just feel like a regular extension isn’t what I want. I want to prove my worth and my value and I want a brand new contract.

“I’m really excited to get the opportunity and really test the free agency because how do you know what your value is unless you can go test it among the other sharks?”

Some say VanZant could be worth around $3 million because of her insane social media prescence, but the 26-year-old said she only earns just $46,000 (US) per fight in the UFC, with another $46,000 added if she wins.

“I’m not going to hide that because everyone knows. I can make way more money than that just promoting brands on Instagram, and that should say something,” she said.

“Why would I step away from all the amazing success that I have? I made more money from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ than I have in my entire UFC career combined – every fight, every win, every bonus.”