Paige VanZant

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Paige VanZant
VanZant in 2018
VanZant in 2018
Born Paige Michelle Sletten[1][2]
(1994-03-26) March 26, 1994 (age 24)
Dundee, Oregon, U.S.
Other names 12 Gauge
PVZ
Height 5 ft 4 in (163 cm)[3]
Weight 125[4] lb (57 kg; 8 st 13 lb)
Division Strawweight (2012–2016)
Flyweight (2017-)
Reach 65.0 in (165 cm)[5]
Fighting out of Portland, Oregon
Team

Team Alpha Male (formerly) [6]

Gracie Barra Portland [7]
Rank Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[8]
Years active 2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 11
Wins 7
By knockout 2
By submission 2
By decision 3
Losses 4
By submission 2
By decision 2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: August 15, 2016

Paige Michelle VanZant[9] (born March 26, 1994) is an American mixed martial artist, author, and a former model.[10][11] VanZant is signed to the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Outside of mixed martial arts, she has appeared in the television series Dancing with the Stars and Chopped.

Background[edit]

VanZant was born in Dundee, Oregon, and raised in Dayton, Oregon. Her parents owned a dance studio, and she was brought up dancing ballet, jazz, and hip hop for over 13 years. As a teen, she appeared in a mop commercial for Bissell.[12] She was considered a tomboy while growing up, and loved the outdoors; her hobbies included riding dirt bikes and fishing. In high school, she was regularly bullied by a group of girls. She has noted this experience as one of the reasons she likes being a martial artist and having the ability to defend herself.[13][14]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

VanZant in 2012, prior to her first amateur bout

After VanZant moved with her family to Sparks, Nevada, she was looking for a dance studio when she came across UFC veteran Ken Shamrock's gym, where she began training in boxing and other martial arts.[15] After winning an amateur fight at age 18,[16] VanZant made her professional MMA debut on June 30, 2012, at UWF's Tournament of Warriors finale against Jordan Nicole Gaza in Corpus Christi, Texas, winning by split decision. On September 22, 2012, she faced Amber Stautzenberger at Premier Fight Series 2 and won via unanimous decision.

Invicta FC[edit]

VanZant faced Tecia Torres at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt. The event was held on January 5, 2013, at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. VanZant was dominated on the feet for much of the fight and lost to Torres via a unanimous decision.[17]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Strawweight division[edit]

In December 2013, VanZant was announced as one of 11 women signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for its newly created Strawweight division. It was also announced that she would compete as a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter (UFC), a television reality series, as part of a tournament to crown the inaugural strawweight champion. However, on March 31, 2014, VanZant was turned away from the reality series because she was only 20 years old, and the minimum age to compete on it is 21 due to the presence of alcohol in the house.[18]

In August 2014, the UFC announced that VanZant would face Kailin Curran on October 4, 2014, in Halifax at UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine, but VanZant suffered a back injury and the bout was rescheduled for UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Swanson.[19] VanZant marked her UFC debut by defeating Curran by TKO in the third round, in a fight that would win Fight of the Night honors.[20]

After defeating Kailin Curran, VanZant enjoyed an increase in popularity. In February 2015, she was signed to a sponsorship deal with Reebok. This became a source of controversy due to her having only one UFC fight at the time. Some media outlets and fighters speculated that VanZant only received the deal due to her physical attractiveness. UFC president Dana White responded that she received the Reebok deal because of her "it" factor and personality.[21][22]

VanZant faced Felice Herrig on April 18, 2015, in Newark, New Jersey, at UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold. Following a competitive first round, VanZant eventually overwhelmed Herrig with her grappling, winning by unanimous decision.[23]

VanZant faced Alex Chambers on September 5, 2015, at UFC 191. After controlling most of the fight with aggressive strikes and grappling, she won via armbar submission in the third round.[17][24]

VanZant signed a new contract with UFC on September 17, 2015.[25] VanZant was expected to face Joanne Calderwood on December 10, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 80. However, Calderwood was pulled from the fight in October and replaced by Rose Namajunas.[26] VanZant lost the one-sided fight via submission in the fifth round.[27]

Following her time on Dancing with the Stars, VanZant returned to the cage to face Bec Rawlings on August 27, 2016 at UFC on Fox: Maia vs. Condit.[28][29] She won the fight via KO in the second round after landing a flying head kick and a flurry of follow-up punches.[30] The win earned VanZant her first Performance of the Night bonus award.

In her next bout, VanZant faced Michelle Waterson on December 17, 2016 in the main event at UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson.[31] She lost the fight via technical submission due to a rear-naked choke in the first round.

She ended her run in the strawweight division ranked No. 12.[32][8]

Flyweight division[edit]

In August 2017, VanZant moved to the 125-pound flyweight division and was booked against Jessica Eye at UFC 216 on October 7.[33] However, VanZant pulled out of the fight on September 25 citing a back injury,[34] and further ailments such as a herniated disc, sinus infection, double ear infection, pink eye and ringworm.[35]

VanZant's debut in the flyweight division eventually took place in 2018 as she faced Jessica Rose-Clark on January 14, 2018 at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi.[36] She lost the fight via unanimous decision.[37]

Fighting style[edit]

VanZant typically attacks with aggressive grappling, then seeks to finish the fight with strikes.[23][38] Her style includes ground-and-pound, dirty boxing, and a wide variety of clinch striking. While standing, she will often move the fight toward the fence and utilize knees, elbows, forearms, punches, and throws.[38][39]

VanZant is noted for the constant pressure she applies while grappling. If an opponent escapes her clinch, she will usually look to close the distance again within moments. At UFC Fight Night 57, Kailin Curran struggled to establish range against VanZant.[38] During their three-round bout, Felice Herrig was repeatedly held down by VanZant's grappling.[23] The first fighter to defeat VanZant, Tecia Torres, largely avoided her clinch while attacking with strikes near the center of the cage.[40] While fighting from a distance, she typically attacks with high kicks and punches.[41] She credits her past experiences dancing with her ability to perform flexible and agile movements in her fights, she demonstrated this when she knocked out Bec Rawlings with a flashy jumping switch kick which earned her a "Performance of the night" bonus.[42]

In addition to her MMA career, VanZant has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.[8]

Media appearances[edit]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

On March 8, 2016, VanZant was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars. She partnered with professional dancer Mark Ballas.[43] The couple reached the finals of the show and finished in second place behind model Nyle DiMarco and his partner Peta Murgatroyd.[44]

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot / "Ain't Got Far to Go" 7 7 7 No Elimination
21 Salsa / "Danza Kuduro" 8 8 8 Safe
3 Paso Doble / "300 Violin Orchestra" 8 7 8 Safe
4 Quickstep / "You've Got a Friend in Me" 9 9/92 9 Safe
53 Rumba / "Perfect" 8 8/74 8 No Elimination
6 Jazz / "Soul Bossa Nova" 9 10 9 Last to be called safe
7 Jive / "Proud Mary"
Team Freestyle / "End of Time", "If I Were a Boy" & "Crazy in Love"
10
8
10
8
10
9
Safe
8 Viennese Waltz / "Stone Cold"
Team-up Dance (Paso Doble) / "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
10
95
9
10
9
10
Safe
9
Semi-finals
Trio Samba / "Hip Hip Chin Chin"
Argentine Tango / "One Time"
10
10
10
9
10
10
Last to be called safe
10
Finals
Salsa / "Fireball"
Freestyle / "Over the Rainbow"
Salsa & Jive Fusion / "Little Bitty Pretty One"
10
10
10
9
10
10
10
10
10
Runner-Up

1 For this week, VanZant performed with troupe member Alan Bersten due to Ballas suffering a back injury during rehearsals.
2 Score given by guest judge Zendaya.
3 For this week only, as part of "America's Switch Up", VanZant performed with Sasha Farber instead of Ballas. Ballas performed with Ginger Zee.
4 Score given by guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
5 Due to Inaba being the judge coaching VanZant's team during the team-up dance, the viewers scored the dance in her place with the averaged score being counted alongside the remaining judges.

Chopped[edit]

On March 3, 2017, VanZant was announced as one of 16 celebrities taking part in a celebrity cooking competition on the Food Network TV series Chopped.[45] She was featured in the "Star Power: Culinary Muscle" episode, alongside former NFL player LaMarr Woodley, female Olympic gold medalist fencer Mariel Zagunis, and former Olympic gold medalist figure skater Dorothy Hamill. VanZant made it through the appetizer, and entree rounds to compete in the dessert round against Hamill. She then edged out Dorothy Hamill in the dessert round to become the Chopped winner.[46]

Book release[edit]

VanZant released her biography, Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life[47] on April 10, 2018. The book details her rise to fame, including her UFC battles, personal battles and appearances on Dancing with the Stars.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Her father nicknamed her "12 Gauge" because of her love of shooting and hunting.[49]

She has modeled for Nike and Columbia Sportswear.[13]

VanZant is engaged to Austin Vanderford, a professional MMA fighter and a two-time NAIA All-American and national champion wrestler.[50][51][52]

In May 2018, VanZant confirmed that she recently had a breast augmentation, saying: "I'm a girl and always wanted my own boobs. They never came so I bought them."[53]

Changing her last name[edit]

She was bullied by a group of girls in high school. The bullying started after rumors began to circulate in her high school in Oregon about VanZant having sexual intercourse with multiple boys at a party. In reality, VanZant was raped by multiple male classmates after they got her intoxicated at a party.[54] The bullying included mocking her last name Sletton, which students changed to "Paige Slutton". She eventually changed her last name legally to VanZant because of the persistent bullying.[55]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 7–4 Jessica-Rose Clark Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi January 14, 2018 3 5:00 St. Louis, Missouri, United States Flyweight debut.
Loss 7–3 Michelle Waterson Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson December 17, 2016 1 3:21 Sacramento, California, United States
Win 7–2 Bec Rawlings KO (switch kick and punches) UFC on Fox: Maia vs. Condit August 27, 2016 2 0:17 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Performance of the Night.
Loss 6–2 Rose Namajunas Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant December 10, 2015 5 2:25 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–1 Alex Chambers Submission (armbar) UFC 191 September 5, 2015 3 1:01 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 5–1 Felice Herrig Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold April 18, 2015 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 4–1 Kailin Curran TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Swanson November 22, 2014 3 2:54 Austin, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 3–1 Courtney Himes Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) BCP: Cage Warriors 15 April 6, 2013 1 2:21 Grand Junction, Colorado, United States
Loss 2–1 Tecia Torres Decision (unanimous) Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt January 5, 2013 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Win 2–0 Amber Stautzenberger Decision (unanimous) Premier Fight Series 2 September 22, 2012 3 5:00 Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Win 1–0 Jordan Nicole Gaza Decision (split) UWF: Tournament of The Warriors Finale June 30, 2012 3 5:00 Corpus Christi, Texas, United States Strawweight debut.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UFC fighter Paige VanZant says MMA saved her from suicide after sexual assault, bullying". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  2. ^ Bieler, Des (2018-04-10). "UFC's Paige VanZant opens up about being raped and bullied in high school". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  3. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 191 Johnson vs. Dodson 2". UFC.com. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Paige VanZant". ufc.com. Retrieved January 28, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Machida vs. Rockhold". UFC.com. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "20-Year-Old Paige VanZant In Shock Over UFC Debut Win and Fight of the Night Bonus". sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo. November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ John King (March 8, 2017). "Report: Paige VanZant has left Team Alpha Male, now training in Portland". Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c "Paige VanZant - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  9. ^ "MIXED MARTIAL ARTS SHOW RESULTS : December 10, 2015 LOCATION: Cosmopolitan Resort, Las Vegas" (PDF). Boxing.nv.gov. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  10. ^ Silvers, Adam (December 1, 2015). "This Stunning 21-Year-Old Gave Up Modeling To Be A UFC Fighter". elitedaily.com. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Meet the 21-Year-Old Who Quit Modeling to Become a UFC Fighter". nextshark.com. December 3, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  12. ^ "UFC's Paige VanZant I Was a Child Star In Cheesy Mop Ad!". TMZ.com. May 1, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Murray, Chris (January 17, 2014). "Sparks' Paige VanZant goes from bullying victim to potential UFC champion". Reno Gazette-Journal. Reno, Nevada: Gannett Company. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ Hubert, Cyntha (June 19, 2015). "Beauty, grit and grace: Paige VanZant is the new face of MMA fighting". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California: The McClatchy Company. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  15. ^ Bieler, Des (2018-04-10). "UFC's Paige VanZant opens up about being raped and bullied in high school". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  16. ^ Fox Sports (November 24, 2014). "Ex-model takes fast track to UFC glory". New York Post. New York City: News Corp. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Paige VanZant". Sherdog.com. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  18. ^ Raimondi, Marc (August 7, 2014). "Too young for TUF, VanZant to debut as youngest UFC women's fighter". Fox Sports. Beverly Hills, California: 21st Century Fox. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ Gerbasi, Thomas (August 26, 2014). "VanZant-Curran heads to Austin". ufc.com. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  20. ^ Staff (November 23, 2014). "UFC Fight Night Austin Bonuses: Edgar, Oleinik, VanZant, Curran Get $50K Awards". sherdog.com. 
  21. ^ Al-Shaiit, Shaun (Febryary 13, 2015). "Dana White: Paige VanZant landed Reebok deal because she has the 'it factor'". mmafighting.com. Retrieved August 25, 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ Fowlkesn, Ben (April 17, 2015). "On Paige VanZant, and the problem with being one of the 'hot girls' in women's MMA". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b c "UFC on FOX 15 Results: Paige VanZant is No Fluke, Pummels Felice Herrig". Yahoo. 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  24. ^ "UFC 191 Results: Paige VanZant Submits Alex Chambers After Mauling Her". MMAWeekly.com. September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Paige VanZant signs new contract with the UFC, says she has fight booked". Bloody Elbow. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  26. ^ Anton Tabuena (2015-10-28). "Paige VanZant now fighting Rose Namajunas with Calderwood out". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  27. ^ Dave Doyle (2015-12-11). "UFC Fight Night 80 results: Rose Namajunas dominates a resilient Paige VanZant". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-12-11. 
  28. ^ "Paige VanZant will fight Bec Rawlings at UFC on FOX 21". mmmafighting.com. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  29. ^ "Paige VanZant returns to UFC as she continues her very difficult life". HalfGuarded.com. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  30. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2016-08-27). "UFC on FOX 21 results: Paige VanZant knocks out Bec Rawlings with jumping head kick headliner". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  31. ^ "UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  32. ^ "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 2017-07-31. 
  33. ^ Brett, Okamoto (2017-08-31). "Paige VanZant, Jessica Eye tapped for UFC 216". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-09-03. 
  34. ^ Ariel Helwani (2017-09-25). "Paige VanZant vs. Jessica Eye expected to be pulled from UFC 216". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-09-25. 
  35. ^ "Paige VanZant List Ailments That Knocked Her Off UFC 216 | Fightful MMA". www.fightful.com. Retrieved September 28, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Paige VanZant vs. Jessica-Rose Clark targeted for UFC St. Louis". MMA Fighting. Retrieved November 22, 2017. 
  37. ^ "UFC Fight Night 124 results: Jessica-Rose Clark stifles injured Paige VanZant for big win". MMAjunkie. January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018. 
  38. ^ a b c Cepeda, Elias (2014-11-22). "Fight Blog Recap: Edgar finishes Swanson in last second submission". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  39. ^ Damon Martin (2015-04-20). "The hype around Paige VanZant is real". news.com.au. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  40. ^ Bratcher, Jack (January 5, 2013). "Invicta FC 4 LIVE results and play-by-play". prommanow.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  41. ^ Gerbasi, Thomas (2014-11-22). "Front Paige News - VanZant Stops Curran in Three". UFC.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  42. ^ "UFC on FOX 21 Video: PVZ's head kick KO". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved January 11, 2018. 
  43. ^ "'Dancing With the Stars' 2016: Season 22 Celebrity Cast Revealed Live on 'GMA'". ABC Go PaigeNews. March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  44. ^ Larrabee, Dory (May 24, 2016). "Who Won 'Dancing With The Stars' 2016 — See The Winner & More". Hollywood Life. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  45. ^ "Celebrities Enter the Chopped Kitchen for Charity in the All-New Star Power Tournament". foodnetwork.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018. 
  46. ^ Marrocco, Steven (April 5, 2017). "UFC's Paige VanZant wins 'Chopped' celebrity episode, looks to earn $50K for charity in finals". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018. 
  47. ^ Raimondi, Marc (April 10, 2018). "Paige VanZant opens up for the first time about being raped in new book". MMAFighting.com. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  48. ^ "Paige VanZant Releases Book Cover | Fightful MMA". www.fightful.com. Retrieved 2017-09-21. 
  49. ^ Gig Patta. "LR Conversation With UFC Fighter Paige Vanzant". Latino Review. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  50. ^ Ess, Russel (August 22, 2017). "Sounds like Paige VanZant just announced she has a boyfriend". bjpenn.com. Retrieved January 14, 2018. 
  51. ^ "Paige VanZant: "Sorry guys, I'm off the market. I am seeing somebody, he is also an MMA Fighter"". wmmarankings.com. September 6, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018. 
  52. ^ Stavrou, Mike (January 29, 2018). "PAIGE ENGAGED Womens UFC superstar Paige VanZant poses with fiance following engagement announcement". thesun.co.uk. Retrieved March 9, 2018. 
  53. ^ "Paige VanZant admits she got breast implants: 'they never came, so I bought them'". Maxim. May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018. 
  54. ^ Savitsky, Sasha (2018-04-10). "UFC's Paige VanZant reveals she was gang-raped in high school". Fox News. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  55. ^ "UFC fighter Paige VanZant says MMA saved her from suicide after sexual assault, bullying". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Nick Carter & Sharna Burgess
Dancing with the Stars (US) runner up
Season 22
(Spring 2016 with Mark Ballas)
Succeeded by
James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess