Is the UFC ready to have four women’s divisions? Either way, the ladies sure are. Paige VanZant has been going through some brutal cuts, something other fighters like Cyborg can relate to. With the addition of flyweight and the crowning on an inaugural champ for the conclusions of The Ultimate Fighter 26, VanZant is ready to move up in weight for her career and her health. She recently spoke to Damon Martin at FloCombat about her trials, tribulations and the 125-pound light at the end of the tunnel.
“Some of my doctors were telling me I’m doing permanent damage to my body and they told me I needed to start picking a new career or I need to make some changes. I feel like it is even scarier for a girl. Obviously, I want to have kids, I want to have a family but I could ruin that by cutting weight. It’s definitely a scary situation to put yourself in. I’m just really happy. I told the UFC it’s time for me to go up and luckily we were doing as much as we could to find a match-up.”
Tell the wolves I'm home. pic.twitter.com/CBr1kQczL2
— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) August 30, 2017
“Jessica Eye was the only one available so we agreed to take the fight. They are opening up the flyweight division so it’s perfect timing. With The Ultimate Fighter airing right now, it’s immediately going to give me so many more opponents to fight at 125. I know for sure I’m going to feel so much better. The fact that I don’t have to cut the extra 10 pounds. My body will easily make 125 but getting anything lower than 125 just hurts me. I know I’m going to be more athletic than I’ve ever been. I’m going to be stronger than I’ve ever been. It’s just going to be a whole new athlete. I’m the most athletic I’ve ever been at 125.” — Paige VanZant speaking to FloCombat.
Not only does The Ultimate Fighter welcome a host of new fighters and a new UFC champion, but Valentina Shevchenko is eyeing the new division as well. Joanna Jedrzejczyk has also talked about her aspiration to become a two-division champion, so it looks like the flyweight division immediately has some stiff competition. Both Paige VanZant and Jessica Eye will make their UFC flyweight debut against each other at UFC 216 on October 7th.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/15/2017.