UFC Women’s Strawweight contender Paige VanZant received the “star treatment” at the UFC 183 event in Las Vegas this weekend, as she took part in an individual media scrum. During the scrum, VanZant took the time to address criticism she received over some recent comments she made about her physical appearance.
During the scrum, which you can watch in full above, VanZant addressed criticism she received over a comment she made regarding her upcoming fight with fellow UFC Women’s Strawweight contender Felice Herrig.
When talking about her scheduled bout with Herrig recently, VanZant made the following comment, which made headlines within various MMA circles.
“I always had on the back of my mind that me and Felice would fight, because we’re the hot girls in the sport. So I kind of got myself ready for that.”
While the comment seems harmless, many took it as a sign that VanZant was an egotistical fighter who expects big things to fall in her lap because of her looks. While anyone who saw her impressive outing against Kailin Curran at the UFC Fight Night 57 event last November knows that is not the case, VanZant addressed the haters anyways during her scrum this weekend.
“You know, I think that me and [Felice Herrig] will always get perceived that way,” said VanZant. “You know, I was saying that that’s what other people think about us. And, you know, we were born this way, it’s nothing that we can change. That just means that we both have to prove that we’re the toughest people out there. I’m going to go out there and prove that I’m not just a pretty face.”
VanZant continued, talking about some of the issues she was forced to deal with during her childhood, and how the position she is in now puts herself in a spot to better influence those who are going through similar experiences.
“It’s amazing,” VanZant continued, “I really want to be a voice for young girls that have also been bullied. I went through a lot growing up, and it’s things that, if I talked about, you wouldn’t even believe. It was a rough few years in high school, so I just want to be a voice for them and say that ‘You don’t have to play the victim, you can play the survivor and the fighter.'”
Paige VanZant makes her next Octagon appearance fighting Felice Herrig at the UFC On FOX 15 event, which takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, April 18, 2015.
– PHOTOS & BIO: Former Model Turned UFC Contender Paige VanZant