Paige VanZant says she’ll be testing the free agent market when her current UFC deal finishes up, and the star continues to offer up compelling reasons as to why.
VanZant’s current deal
Recently the 25-year-old revealed that her current UFC deal will end after her next bout. As her final fight of the contract approaches, “12 Gauge” is coming off a second round, armbar win over Rachel Ostovich in January. That victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for VanZant, who was coming off back-to-back losses to Michell Waterson and Jessica-Rose Clark.
The star’s latest comments about her value
As noted above, VanZant had already reported that she planned to enter free agency as a means to see what her value is. But more recently, VanZant appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, and she had this to say, while discussing her plans for free agency (quotes via MMA Mania):
“I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting,” VanZant said. “When I did my contract negotiation the last time, the talk was, “I can’t pay you more than a female champion.’ Okay, but why are comparing me to just women? All of us should be getting paid more in general.”
“I want a significant pay raise, to be completely honest,” VanZant said. “I’ve just been extremely accomplished outside of the UFC, as well as inside of the UFC. Five wins in the UFC, four finishes, I’ve been main event twice, and I think someone with those accolades should be paid more.”
Now, if you’re thinking VanZant’s worth can’t be that high, since she’s lost two of her last three fights, you would be mistaken. As she noted above, not only has she headlined before and scores several finishes in the cage, she’s also a big name outside of MMA. Case in point, VanZant wouldn’t be making more money posting pictures on Instagram if she wasn’t.
Not only is VanZant a big name due to her appearances on shows like “Dancing With the Stars” and “Chopped”, she’s also done some broadcasting, wrote an autobiography and is coming off a photo shoot in SI’s swimsuit edition. So, even if she loses her last UFC fight, there will be no shortage of sizeable offers coming her way.
During the aforementioned interview, VanZant also reported that she hopes to fight before 2019 is over. The flyweight has been sidelined after breaking her arm once again.