Women’s MMA star needs a win to turn her fading championship dream into a reality
PAIGE VANZANT’S hopes of rebuilding her career at UFC 216 – after two defeats in her last three fights – have been slashed by a gruesome foot injury.
The beautiful MMA star is nursing an unflattering 7-3 record and a nasty gash on her left foot that could end her hopes of fighting on October 7.
The selfie-loving strawweight was reportedly ready to step up to the new flyweight division to face Jessica Eye.
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But the grim cut looks set to end her hopes of making a splash in the recently formed weight class.
After a bright start to her UFC career, VanZant has struggled in the octagon but succeeded in becoming a huge name outside of it.
After being choked out in a one-sided clash with Rose Namajunas in December 2015, the 23-year-old finished second on celebrity dancing show Dancing with the Stars.
VanZant earned a performance-of-the-night win after the hit show, that looked like putting her back on track.
But – in front of her home Sacramento crowd – Michelle Waterson submitted her in December last year for her second loss inside 12 months.
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Critics have claimed VanZant is being pushed too far and too early in her UFC career because of her looks and market appeal but she insists there’s no problem.
After her most recent loss, VanZant said: “I was meant for the spotlight and I am going to continue being in the spotlight.
“I will be back and I am going to have the belt one day. I am 22 years old so I have a long time. I will be back.
“I feel my opportunities are endless, I am going to be fighting for the UFC for a long time. But if other things come up I am going to pursue those as well.
“I have a lot of passions in this world and I am not going to limit myself to just one thing.
“I am very good at balancing my outside factors, I have the best team in the world. I am smart and I could have done anything I wanted to but I chose to fight.”
VanZant revealed in May that her mum made her delete a saucy video of her stripping in Reebok gear.
The fighter shocked the sport when she filmed herself rolling around and revealing her sports bra and was slammed by fellow MMA stars for the clip.
Reacting to the backlash, VanZant said: “Actually, I haven’t seen anything that people responded, so I post things and just forget about it.
“Definitely it was funny. I never anticipated that kind of reaction, so I had no idea.
“My manager, my mom, somebody told me about it. But, no, I just thought it was funny.
“I didn’t even delete it. Somebody else did, I don’t know how. I think my mom deleted it, so it’s my mum being a mum.
“I pretty much kind of do whatever I want. It was me being funny, I thought.”
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