VanZant competed in the last bout of her UFC deal on July 11. She took on Amanda Ribas in the main card opener of UFC 251. Going into the bout, many believed this was a classic case of the UFC setting up a fighter for failure in the last bout of the promotional deal. Ribas ended up submitting VanZant in the opening frame.
Paige VanZant Responds To Dana White’s Comments
VanZant spoke to MMAFighting.com‘s Damon Martin following her submission loss to Ribas. “12 Gauge” responded to White saying she should “definitely” test free agency at this stage in her pro MMA career.
“Honestly, I didn’t actually see specifically the quote or what he said. I try not to pay attention too much,” VanZant said. “It’s unfortunate because I feel like I have a really good relationship with Dana.
“I feel like I thought we were closer friends and he could text me or call me. Something to have a little bit of compassion, something to communicate with me personally but maybe he will. We just don’t know. I’m sure it’s an uncomfortable situation.”
White also compared VanZant to Curtis Blaydes. The UFC boss criticized Blaydes for speaking out on fighter pay ahead of his bout with Alexander Volkov. White has long defended the UFC’s pay structure and has been known to lash out at fighters whenever they disagree on certain issues.
Ahead of UFC 251, VanZant had expressed her gripes with fighter pay. She claimed there was more money on the table to promote brands on social media than fighting under the UFC banner.
VanZant’s next move isn’t set in stone but she has options. Bellator president Scott Coker has revealed plans to engage in serious talks with VanZant. VanZant’s husband, Austin Vanderford, competes under the Bellator banner.