Paige VanZant has been anxiously awaiting clearance on her broken arm to get back into training but there were admittedly reservations this time around.
The 25-year old UFC flyweight was out of action for an entire year while dealing with a broken arm suffered in her 125-pound debut against Jessica-Rose Clark in January 2018.
She returned this past January and earned a second-round submission victory against Rachael Ostovich to get back on track following the loss and the injury. Unfortunately just after that fight ended, VanZant suffered a second broken arm in training that would require even more time on the sidelines to recover.
Just recently, VanZant was medically cleared to return to full training but she says there was a lot more caution this time around because she was so concerned about suffering yet another broken arm.
“After the first surgery, I didn’t have any reservations of my arm,” VanZant explained. “I was throwing it with reckless abandon. After injuries there are always athletes who have that injury in the back of their minds. I actually do with this break. Because I broke it again after winning a fight.
“So training has actually been really hard the last few weeks. It’s always in the back of my mind but I’m hoping I can break that mental block of breaking my arm so many times.”
Once she begins sparring and training regularly, VanZant hopes to book her next fight in the UFC sooner rather than later with a summer date most likely for her return.
“We’ll see what happens but I feel really good,” VanZant stated. “I’ve been running a lot so I still anticipate a summer return is what I’m hoping for.”
VanZant says that she actually wanted to compete on the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in San Antonio because she’s always enjoyed competing in Texas but the July 20 date might be pushing her timeline to return just a bit too fast.
Either way, VanZant has her management team on the job to discuss the best possible option for her next fight as she looks to get her second win in a row in the flyweight division.
“We’re communicating with the UFC and my managers and just hoping my arm feels really good,” VanZant said. “That will be a big determining factor.”