UFC president Dana White believes now is the right time for Paige VanZant to explore free agency.
VanZant competed in the main card opener of UFC 251 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. This was the last fight on “12 Gauge’s” UFC deal. She ended up being submitted in the opening frame.
Dana White Says Paige VanZant Should Test Free Agent Market
During the UFC 251 post-fight press conference, White said that VanZant would be best served looking for options with other MMA promotions (via MMAJunkie).
“I like Paige,” White said. “I like Paige. It’s like (Curtis) Blaydes – when Blaydes fought. When you talk all that stuff, ‘I’m not getting paid enough,’ and (you’re) fighting inconsistently, one time in the last year (because of injuries), and then get smoked in the first round of the fight, she should definitely test free agency.”
Ahead of her bout with Ribas, VanZant expressed her gripes with fighter pay. It has become apparent that White takes issue with just about anyone who airs out their disgruntlement with fighter pay.
With the defeat to Ribas, VanZant’s pro MMA record has dropped to 8-5. Many believe she was matched up with the undefeated Ribas to make her look bad on her way out of the UFC.
VanZant has gone 1-3 in her last four outings. Her last victory was back in Jan. 2019, which was a submission win over Rachael Ostovich.
Time will tell what VanZant decides to do going forward. “12 Gauge” has said that she can make more money promoting brands on Instagram than fighting under the UFC banner. Whether or not another promotion is willing to give VanZant satisfactory pay remains to be seen.