12- Gauge Paige Wins Debut Fight

Paige VanZant wins fight. Image: www.foxsports.com

115 pound straw weight contender Paige VanZant has shown she is more than a pretty face. On the weekend she won her first UFC event against highly rated Kailin Curran (3-0) via third round TKO. The two girls thrilled the crowd with tenacity and technique, which saw them win $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.

Paige ’12 gauge’ VanZant was thrilled to have her arm raised by the referee, saying the win only made her hungrier for more.

VanZant originally began combat training out of boredom. She began with boxing, throwing all of her diminutive 115 pounds into ever drill and punch. Soon her coaches were telling her she had potential (in MMA) and would she consider a career?

VanZant thought they were joking.

“I was just 15 at the time, and I never imagined something like that (the win over Curran or $50,000 fight prize).”When I turned 18 theyasked if I would take a fight and I said, ‘Yeah.’ I won it and all of a sudden there was all this interest and all these opportunities. I had just one amateur fight, then my coach got a call for a pro fight for me. I thought about it and said, ‘If I’m going to fight anyway, I might as well get paid for it.’”

Piage VanZant. Image: www.sherdog.com

Piage VanZant. Image: www.sherdog.com

But it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the former cheerleader. She was turned down for The Ultimate Fighter because of her age. Then she lost to current TUF housemate Tecia Torres. This was followed by an 18-monthlong hiatus from the sport because of a serious neck injury.

But after her recent win VanZant has “realised I want to make it a career in the cage.”

Keep your eye on this fighter people.

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