Despite her undeniable talent that has been revealed on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," Paige VanZant has maintained throughout weekly interviews that she would not make a career change from the Ultimate Fighting Championship at this point in her life. This week even more so confirmed that thinking, VanZant said in a Tuesday conversation with the Los Angeles Times. The UFC strawweight admitted that while watching her most recent opponent, Rose Namajunas, participate on Saturday's UFC Fight Night event in Tampa, Fla., and seeing social media photos of her Sacramento-based Team Alpha Male mates in training, she has battled homesick feelings. "Oh lots," VanZant, 22, said. It didn't really kick in until last week.
The rigors of "Dancing With the Stars" typically lead to participants discussing the peak physical shape they reach in their demanding preparation for the show. Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight Paige VanZant began the competition with world-class cardio, and she's complementing her dance practice with morning mixed martial arts training. I'm a fighter first, so I want to stay fight-ready at all times," VanZant told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. "I am making sure I put a lot into the dance. It's been a fun experience.
Ultimate Fighting Championship straw-weight Paige VanZant shed tears of excitement following her debut on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" on Monday night, telling The Times on Tuesday that "it all went perfectly how it was planned." Assigned to the foxtrot with partner Mark Ballas, VanZant is in fourth place with 21 points after showing off dance skills she honed through middle school. Fan voting will determine Tuesday night who's eliminated in a field that includes former college and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and NFL players Von Miller and Antonio Brown. "It was just so exciting and awesome that I got the high scores," VanZant said. "I'm just out there for the experience and to have a good time and some fun."
It had been over a year since Michelle Waterson appeared in the UFC, but her second fight ended just the same as the first as she made short work of Paige VanZant with a first round rear naked choke to cap off FOX UFC Fight Night in Sacramento. Waterson made quite the debut last July with a submission over Angela Magana, but then a series of injuries kept her sidelined for nearly all of 2016 until she finally returned on Saturday night. Despite the long layoff, Waterson stated numerous times that she didn't believe in ring rust and that was never more evident than with her quick start against VanZant once the first round got underway. Following a few exchanges on the feet it was VanZant who locked up in the clinch with Waterson but she may have regretted that decision just a few moments later. Waterson saw an opening in VanZant's defense before grabbing her by the head and arm and tossing her to the mat.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. Sacramento, California is the site for UFC on Fox 22 and the main event will feature Paige VanZant against Michelle Waterson in a pivotal strawweight bout. Sage Northcutt will also meet Mickey Gall and Urijah Faber will have his final fight against Brad Pickett.