MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: UFC Fight Night 54

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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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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Rory MacDonald vs. Tarec Saffiedine to Headline UFC Fight Night Halifax in October


(Rory MacDonald — the forgotten fifth member of Kraftwerk. / Props: MMA-Freak)

The UFC has announced that its first-ever event in Halifax, Nova Scotia — UFC Fight Night 54*, October 4th at the Halifax Metro Centre — will be headlined by top welterweight contender Rory MacDonald against former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine.

It’s a unexpected booking, in terms of MacDonald and Saffiedine’s respective places in the 170-pound pecking order. Rory Mac is officially ranked as the UFC’s #2 welterweight contender, and is off to a great start in 2014, with dominant decision wins against Demain Maia and Tyron Woodley. Saffiedine is way down at #10 in the rankings, partly due to injury-related inactivity. Though “Sponge” is on a five-fight win streak, he’s only been able to compete once since the UFC brought him over from Strikeforce in January 2013, earning a decision win against Hyun Gyu Lim on the first Fight Pass card in January of this year. I mean, I’m sure you all remember that one.

So yeah, a bit of a step down for MacDonald. Then again, part of the UFC’s approach to new international markets involves getting a native fighter to stomp a foreigner, so I guess this booking is as good as any other. (It should be pointed out that MacDonald is originally from British Columbia, way the hell on the other side of Canada.)

We’ll update you when the card fills out and broadcast plans are announced.

* I think it’s #54, but honestly, I’m losing track of the numbers at this point. From now on, we’ll just say “the Halifax one” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

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