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Tag: Paige VanZant

Update: Paige VanZant Recovering From Spine Injury, October UFC Debut in Jeopardy


(Paige models the new UFC women’s walkout uniform, presented by Under Armour. / Photo via Instagram.com/paige_vanzant)

Last week, we passed along word that UFC strawweight prospect Paige VanZant had disappeared from Team Alpha Male under somewhat hazy circumstances. “12 Gauge” has finally broken her silence about her whereabouts, and it’s not good news. As she wrote on her Facebook page last night:

WHERE IS PAIGE VANZANT?
Dear fans I know quite a few of you are wondering why I am not in my training camp. I left Sacramento to come back to my home state and have been in intense physical therapy from a spine injury. I do not have insurance coverage in California and I have not been giving the okay to train at this time. I am working hard to get better. Prayers up for a good recovery. Thank you so much for all your kind words it is such a blessing to have such an amazing team behind me.

Though VanZant didn’t say that her UFC Fight Night 54 bout against Kailin Curran was officially off, it seems unlikely that she’ll be able to make the October 4th date, considering that she isn’t currently cleared to train. We’ll keep you posted.

These days, Paige is paying the bills as a model and dancer for Karen Burns Productions, a Reno-based outfit that provides costumed entertainers for special events. A brief sampling of some of her recent work is below…

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Paige VanZant Leaves Team Alpha Male Under Sketchy Circumstances, Will Not Represent the Camp at UFC Fight Night 54


(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.”

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Report: Paige VanZant vs. Kailin Curran Slated for UFC Fight Night Halifax


(Winner gets a six-figure modeling contract?)

MMAFighting is reporting that teen model turned UFC strawweight prospect Paige VanZant will likely make her Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night Halifax: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine on October 4th, against Hawaiian prospect Kailin Curran.

To borrow a phrase from the CME, these two certainly look good getting off the bus. On the other hand, VanZant and Curran land on the low end of the UFC experience spectrum, to put it gently. VanZant is 3-1 professionally with all three of those wins coming against women who were making their pro debuts. Curran’s pro record is a similar 3-0, with all three victories by unanimous decision under the Pacific Xtreme Combat banner — and none of those wins coming against an opponent with a winning record.

VanZant and Curran have something else in common: They both tried out for TUF 20. While VanZant was blocked from the show due to age requirements, Curran simply didn’t make the cut. Or maybe the UFC hand-picked her as VanZant’s first opponent, for aesthetic reasons.

Speaking of which, 12 more photos of Kailin Curran are in the gallery after the jump. Enjoy, and check out her Instagram page for more.

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Paige VanZant Too Young for TUF 20, Signs Directly With the UFC Instead


(You mean we don’t get to see THIS WOMAN get into drunken pillow fights with Thug Rose? *throws TV out window*)

You guys remember Paige VanZant, right? Unbelievably, just impossibly adorable model who also happens to be a legitimate MMA fighter at only 20 years of age? Yeah, her. Well it turns out that, contrary to earlier reports, the lovely Ms. VanZant will *not* be among the dozen or so Invicta strawweights competing on the upcoming, all-women season of The Ultimate Fighter, TUF 20. The reason: She’s too young to drink, and the TUF house is nothing if not a place for drunken dude-bros — and now, dude-broads — to get into shouting matches over whom should allow whom to bang.

News of VanZant’s ineligibility came directly from her Alpha Male training partner, Urijah Faber, who told Bloody Elbow that “12 Gauge” has ”now signed straight with the UFC” in light of the TUF development.

While this means that VanZant won’t be given a shot at the inaugural strawweight title, it also means that she won’t be subjected to twoish months of reality show hell and the downright laughable UFC contract that follows. Toss in the fact that she’ll have the benefit of not only watching all her future competitors in action, but continue training with Team Alpha Male while doing so, and it seems like a win to me.

Then again, it would have been nice to see VanZant get schooled in the art of the Showtime Kick, or get into a prank war with one of her fellow castmates at the very least. But as it stands, one can only dream…

-J. Jones

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UFC Pillages Invicta FC’s Strawweight Division, 115-Pound Women to Be Featured on TUF 20


(Well, it was fun while it lasted. / Photo via InvictaFC)

On Wednesday evening, the UFC officially announced the launch of its 115-pound women’s division, after acquiring the contracts of 11 top strawweight fighters from Invicta FC: Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, Juliana Lima, and Paige Van Zant.

Those fighters (along with five more strawweights to be named later) will compete on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which begins filming in May 2014. The winner of the season will become the UFC’s inaugural strawweight champion. Coaches for the season haven’t been named yet.

As for Invicta FC, company president Shannon Knapp has put on a happy face and explained that Invicta’s strawweight division will carry on without its 11 best fighters, which seems kind of depressing. But her promotion has had a good working relationship with the UFC since the beginning, and that’s not going to change.

At this point, you probably have a lot of burning questions racing through your heads, so we’ve put together a helpful FAQ to answer some of the major ones…

Q: Does this mean that CagePotato’s sponsorship of Rose Namajunas is effectively over?
A: Yeah, pretty much. But we wish Rose the best with the bigger, fancier sponsors that she’ll be snapping up next year. JUST TREAT HER RIGHT, BRO.

Q: I haven’t watched TUF since the Brock Lesnar season. (Chicken shit, chicken salad, good times.) Why can’t the UFC just start putting these women on upcoming fight cards? Like, they could re-book Gadelha vs. Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title on a UFC on FOX 1 show or something. You know what I mean?

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Hot Fighter Alert: 16 Photos of Model/MMA Prospect Paige VanZant


(Photo courtesy of 12gaugepaigevanzant.com. Click image for full-size version.)

Props to BabesofMMA and MMAJunkie for turning us on to Paige VanZant, a 2-0 professional MMA fighter who will be facing Tecia Torres on the prelims of this Saturday’s Invicta 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt event in Kansas City.

A model and student-athlete since childhood, the 18-year-old fighter began training in MMA when she was 15, and currently trains at the House of RYU in Las Vegas. Paige began competing this year, first picking up an amateur win in April, then winning decisions in professional matches against Jordan Gaza and Amber Stautzenberger. (She’s also done ring girl gigs for Shark Fights and Ultimate Reno Combat.) According to this Examiner article, Paige likes wrestling and throws, doesn’t enjoy getting hit in the face, and her future goals include opening a restaurant and fighting Cris Cyborg.

Check out lots more of our favorite Paige VanZant photos in the gallery after the jump — as well as four bonus videos of Paige chatting, fighting, and steam-mopping — and follow her life on Facebook and Twitter.

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