The next two UFC cards will be headlined by two of the biggest names in women’s MMA. The first, which will go down this Saturday and air on Fox, will see strawweight superstar Paige VanZant take on a stark test in “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson. The second, which will occur the following weekend and air on pay-per-view, will see MMA icon Ronda Rousey return from more than a year on the shelf to a bantamweight title fight with reigning champ Amanda Nunes.
In advance of her fight this Saturday, VanZant spoke with TMZ about Rousey’s looming return. In her interview with TMZ, VanZant addressed Rousey’s recent claims that this bout with Nunes could be one of her last.
“I think it could be her last fight, you know, but she’s so successful outside of fighting that she doesn’t need to fight anymore,” VanZant said of Rousey’s possible retirement. “It’s such a violent sport, it takes a lot out of you. Either way, she’s had a very successful career.”
The strawweight also touched on Rousey’s long layoff, and assured that if the former bantamweight queen is focused, she should come out on top.
“I don’t believe in ring rust,” VanZant said. “I think it’s 100% mental, so if she’s 100% mentally focused on that night, then she’s going win it.”
“I would say Ronda by armbar,” she added, when asked for a prediction.
Finally, VanZant was asked if she’d ever consider fighting Rousey. Given that she fights at 115 pounds, while Rousey fights at 135, there would be a significant size disparity between them. Apparently, however, VanZant would be down to meet Rousey in the middle.
“If she wants to meet at 125,” she said. “I would consider going up to 125. It’s not that big of a weight gain for me.”
“We’ll see,” she said when asked if she thought she could beat Rousey. “We’ll see if we meet at 125.”
Considering the fact that Rousey weighed 140 pounds one week ago, her cutting down to 125 is not outside the realm of possibility. If she did, how do you think a fight with VanZant would go? Sound off, PENN Nation!