Back in August, we learned that long time strawweight contender Paige VanZant was moving on up to the UFC’s new women’s flyweight division, where she’ll battle Jessica Eye at UFC 216 on October 7. The reason for this move, as it turns out, is not just that VanZant is looking for a fresh start. Apparently, she’s been enduring a far tougher weight cut than any of us knew.
VanZant shared the details of her brutal cut to the strawweight division’s 115-pound cap on the latest edition of The MMA Hour.
“I kind of put my foot down on this one,” VanZant said. “It was time for me to move up.”
“It’s a big cut for me,” she continued, before revealing some harrowing details. “I’m a lot heavier than people realize. I was honestly killing myself for this sport. In my last I want to say two fights or three fights, I’ve passed out in my bathroom. This last one, I passed out and had the doctors almost not clear me for the fight.”
Apparently, VanZant’s parents also had some say in the move.
“My parents have never seen me cut weight, but they watched this one and they told me if I ever did that again they were gonna disown me,” VanZant said. “They thought, I’m killing myself for this and it’s not worth it. It’s not worth hurting myself physically for a sport.”
Having committed to this move, VanZant anticipates a happier, healthier, and altogether more successful fighting career.
“The 125 division is finally getting built, so it just made sense for me to try it out,” she said. “I’m moving up. I’m a big advocate for body positivity and I was putting myself through an eating disorder to make weight. And it became not fun for me anymore. I hate cutting. I hated the process. Obviously, passing out on your bathroom floor is not fun, because you’re dying in a bathtub.”
“I think that the world will see that I’m so much better at 125,” VanZant continued. “I’m gonna be healthier, I’m gonna be stronger, i’m gonna be faster. I can’t wait to show that off.”
How do you think Paige VanZant will perform at flyweight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/6/2017.