After a long stint with the UFC, Paige VanZant is now a free agent, but her mixed martial arts career is far from over.
VanZant fulfilled the final obligation of her latest UFC contract at UFC 251, when she was submitted by Amanda Ribas. While it’s possible she will re-sign with the UFC, she can now field offers from other promotions.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, VanZant opens up on what she hopes to accomplish in this next phase of her career. She says that one of her goals is to remind the world how good she is at her chosen sport.
“I’m sad about the way [the Ribas fight] went, but this is the first time in my entire career where, I [usually] get emotional after losses, and most times I’ll cry for like a week, but this fight, I only cried for like an hour after the loss,” VanZant said. “For the first time in my life, I finally realized the losses definitely don’t define you.
“Maybe I did have to hit rock bottom. It’s just going to make my comeback story that much greater coming off a loss and an arm injury, and I have 10-plus years to fight and show off how good I am.”
At this stage, VanZant isn’t sure how long it’ll be before she fights again, but she’s hopeful she’ll be able to hash out a deal with a top promotion soon.
“I want to fight as soon as possible,” VanZant said. “In my mind, I’m going to go ahead and delete that last fight and start over. I don’t know how long this negotiation stuff goes.
“I’m hoping quick, cause I definitely don’t have any injuries. I don’t even know if I got hit, so I’m ready to fight again.”
At present, it’s not clear where Paige VanZant will end up, but Bellator MMA boss Scott Coker has admitted his promotion is very interested in her services.
“You know, to be honest, I don’t think we’ve had a business conversation yet,” Coker said of VanZant. “We definitely have a relationship with her and her husband, her camp, her management, so we definitely will reach out here when she gets back and settled. She’s back but she’s probably still settling from the trip. From what I heard, it wasn’t a very fun time over there. But listen, do we want to be in the Paige VanZant business? We definitely want to have a conversation with her.”