While she made her name inside the Octagon, where she threw down against the likes of current strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, Michelle Waterson, Tecia Torres, and Felice Herrig, VanZant’s prominence has only risen since she departed MMA’s biggest stage in 2020.
As well as signing a lucrative contract with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, the 28-year-old has increased her fanbase through an active presence on social media, including the creation of her own adult content site and a carefree attitude when it comes to her posts.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn, VanZant admitted that successful social media promotion and posting have always come naturally to her, hence the fruitful beginning of her exclusive page.
Discussing the benefits of her personal site, “12 Gauge” cited the ability to communicate one-on-one with her as the biggest perk for those who choose to subscribe.
“I think my entire career, throughout the UFC early on, everyone said I was a master at social media. I still feel like I am. It’s definitely another—not a full-time job for me, it’s more to have fun,” said VanZant. “I get to communicate. The difference between regular social media, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook—those are all things I do have and I’m very active on—this (personal site), it’s a select group of people that are paying for my time, so I feel like they get that one-on-one interaction.
“I get to talk to people personally every day, whereas on Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, I’m not able to respond to everybody, all the time,” VanZant continued. “So I find the balance really easy. It’s something I have a lot of fun with. In-between training sessions, I can get on there, and talk to people, and respond.”
VanZant Gives Advice For Other Social Media Influencers
While she’s perhaps never been able to reach the upper echelons in combat sports, despite showing early promise with a 3-0 slate in the UFC, VanZant’s falters in the cage and the ring haven’t prevented her from amassing a large following.
On Instagram, the Oregon native boasts over three million followers, which is more than all four reigning female titleholders in the UFC. With that in mind, VanZant is well placed to offer advice to those aspiring to become social media influencers.
“I don’t mind sharing (advice) at all,” VanZant said. “I don’t really have secrets. I feel like I don’t ever—my candle doesn’t dim by lighting someone else’s. For me, I tell everybody, ‘You have to post every day.’ I think it’s important to be as authentic as possible. Truly, be yourself, because otherwise, it comes off as corny or cheesy. People just wanna know the real you. That’s, I feel like, why I’ve had a lot of success.
“It’s me and my husband messing around on Instagram, or messing around on Facebook, or posting our lives. On my TikTok, you can see a lot of the funny things that me and my husband do… I also get to share my fight side, my fun, sexy side,” added VanZant. “For any girls that want to try to put their foot in, I guess, that exclusive content door, the link in my profile, you can go on there and there’s a link that says, ‘Create your own content site.'”
While her social media and exclusive content will no doubt continue to grow in the coming months and years, VanZant’s fighting journey isn’t finished yet. As well as recently signing with professional wrestling organization AEW, “12 Gauge” is set to return to BKFC action in London this summer.
Do you think that Paige VanZant can still find success in combat sports?