20-Year-Old Paige VanZant In Shock Over UFC Debut Win and Fight of the Night Bonus

November 24, 2014
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UFC women’s strawweight Paige VanZant couldn’t be a member of The Ultimate Fighter 20 cast to determine the inaugural women’s 115-pound champion because of her age. With alcohol present in the fighter house, the 20-year-old wasn’t able to participate in the “A Champion Will Be Crowned” season.

SEE ALSO: Check Out Paige VanZant’s Fight Videos

She was initially signed by the organization in December 2013 to be part of the reality series. Instead, she made her promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 57 against Kailin Curran on Saturday. While their fight didn’t make the FOX Sports 1 broadcast, it won Fight of the Night honors.

A $50,000 bonus in your UFC debut has to be the equivalent of hitting a grand slam in your first at bat in the majors. VanZant, who broke down in tears following her TKO win, was still in shock during the post-fight press conference.

“Going into it, I always get nervous before I perform,” said VanZant. “Once I walk out to the cage, all the nerves set in. I’m used to being under pressure. Luckily, I perform really well under pressure. And what a way to kick off my UFC debut with a bonus.

SEE ALSO: UFC Fight Night 57 Fighter Bonuses: The Ladies Steal the Show

“I’m completely in awe still. I’m in shock,” she added.

Paige VanZant vs Kailin CurranThe win moved VanZant’s record to 4-1. Her only loss is to TUF 20 contestant Tecia Torres by unanimous decision in January 2013 at Invicta FC 4. An opportunity to avenge that loss interests VanZant.

“I definitely proved myself in this fight. I proved that I didn’t need to be on The Ultimate Fighter to make a name for myself. And I’m really excited to fight whoever comes out of the The Ultimate Fighter house as soon as possible,” said the Nevada native.

“There are a lot of girls in that house that I’d match myself up with. One of the standout fighters was Tecia Torres, and she’s my only loss. So I’m excited to maybe get that rematch with her or whoever comes out of The Ultimate Fighter house,” continued VanZant.

The 20-year-old prospect thinks, looking back on it, that not being able to be on the reality show benefited her.

“I think it’s been great for me. I found my new training camp and I’ve really been able to set myself on the tracks that I needed to be on to win my fights. I have a much better mindset going into the fights now. I feel like I’ve had the best training camp of my life. And I would have changed it for the world,” she said.

“It was bittersweet not being on The Ultimate Fighter. I was really fortunate that I was considered for such a great thing. But this ended up being the best thing for me.”

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  • chilly16

    Great job Frankie

    • steve

      Mack does not like women

  • Spike

    She’s a hottie … Frankie Edgar also got Fight of the Honors in his ufc debut vs tyson griffin all the way back in 2007.

  • mack

    Why in the world does anyone take this seriously? Anyone wearing a string bikini to promote a “fight” isn’t a serious fighter. Put some clothes on and have some self rsspect. That fight of the night bonus is what high priced call girls get from their johns!

    • Looks like it was the weight in, the guys do the weight in pretty much naked. At least the girls are something nice to look at for a change. Unless your the kind of person that likes dicks in or around your mouth.

    • David

      All it takes is some anonymity, a forum and the topic of women being discussed to bring out the closeted misogyny. It was a weigh in you dick, and a bikini in any context doesn’t immediately translate into a lack of self respect.

      • PoliticallyIncorrect

        Bikini = whore.

  • Coca

    You commented with seriousness mack, so you’re the one thattakes this seriously. I bet you wouldnt stand a chance if you enter in a cage to fight one of this women. Lol

  • Coca

    Or you would also be wearing a string bikini if you do so! Hahahahaha

  • Jaw Tooth

    Something about Miley just turns me off. I dont see her as sexy.

  • steve

    We’re not talking about Miley Jaw Tooth

  • Rick Leonardi

    I’d like to plant my black paige into that tight zant.

  • planetcrap

    hahaha great joke!