Over the years, many UFC stars have teased a move over to professional wrestling. Names like Jon Jones, Colby Covington, Julianna Peña, and Israel Adesanya have all teased a move to the squared circle.
In the case of Paige VanZant, she has backed up her words from four years ago when she said she’d be open to entering pro wrestling. Recently, it was revealed that VanZant has signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling. On this day four years ago, before the rise of AEW, it was specifically WWE she had her eye on.
The following article was published on this day four years ago. It is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MARCH 20, 2018, 11:09 AM]
Headline: UFC Flyweight Paige VanZant Open to WWE Run
Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.
Paige VanZant isn’t ruling out a trip to the squared circle.
VanZant is currently an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight. After going 7-3 at 115 pounds, “12 Gauge” made the move to flyweight due to some brutal weight cuts. Right now she is recovering from an injury in her bout against Jessica-Rose Clark.
Six days from now, VanZant will turn 24. Time is still on her side to take things to the next level. The question remains, will she keep competing in mixed martial arts? While “12 Gauge” hasn’t given much indication that she will hang up her gloves, many believe her popularity could propel her to other ventures.
One of those potential ventures is WWE. Speaking to MMAJunkie.com, VanZant said she isn’t opposed to the idea of stepping inside the ring:
“It’s just another platform for us UFC fighters to make a name for ourselves. I know Ronda is going to do awesome at it, and she’s going to make a name for herself in the WWE. I’m a fighter first and foremost, but if the opportunity ever came knocking, I’m not one to turn opportunities down. I think it’s an amazing organization, and I’d definitely love to work with them.”
This is hardly the first time VanZant has shown interest in a WWE career after her days as a pro fighter are over. She’s been talking about joining WWE since 2016 and was even rumored for a match at SummerSlam 2016, but that never came to be.
VanZant wouldn’t be the first fighter to transition from MMA to pro wrestling. Of course, Ronda Rousey is currently signed to a WWE contract and is set to make her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34. Before her, others such as Josh Barnett competed in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Many believe Attitude Era star Ken Shamrock made the transition, but he was actually a professional wrestler years before making his MMA debut.
Do you believe Paige VanZant will eventually go to the WWE?