(Photo via @PAIGEVANZANT)
In a less-than-encouraging sign, Paige VanZant has left Team Alpha Male, and is currently training independently for her UFC debut against Kailin Curran at UFC Fight Night 54 on October 4th. Urijah Faber revealed yesterday on The MMA Hour that the 20-year-old strawweight prospect peaced-out earlier this summer under mysterious circumstances:
“You know what, Paige has left. She hasn’t been around at all. I guess she, I don’t know, I asked what was going on. She was renting a room in Sacramento, and the person who she was renting from got evicted and took all her money, and I don’t know, she hasn’t been around. I told her, let me know if there’s any way I can help. I think she’s out in Reno training with her jiu-jitsu people or something. I don’t know where she is, man, for like the last month and a half or so, so I haven’t seen her…”
“I just texted her yesterday to ask her how training is going. I haven’t heard back from her, so I don’t know, man. She’s 20 years old, she’s young. She’s a very good athlete, she’s still developing as a fighter, she believes in herself, she’s a great looking girl. I think she’s got a lot of potential. I mean, I would feel most comfortable if she was on the team. If she’s going to represent the team, she needs to be in the gym. And so as of right now, she’s not going to be able to represent the team when she fights.”
Huh. Remember when we all learned that “Hammer House” was really just Mark Coleman’s porch, which used to have a punching bag until Kevin Randleman stole it? That’s the kind of free-form, “independent” training environment that a fighter needs to avoid going into the biggest fight of his/her life. But with her UFC debut less than two months away, it might be too late for VanZant to integrate herself into another world-class fight team for this camp. Best of luck, kid.