Paige VanZant still “destined for greatness,” says husband Austin Vanderford

Paige VanZant
Image via @paigevanzant on Instagram

Paige VanZant experienced a tough loss at UFC 251, but Austin Vanderford still has unwavering confidence in her.

VanZant met streaking strawweight contender Amanda Ribas in the UFC 251 pay-per-view opener. The bout marked the final obligation on her current UFC contract.

Unfortunately for VanZant and her legions of fans, this fight didn’t go as planned, as she was submitted by Ribas in the first round. She’ll now enter a period of free agency riding a loss.

Despite this hiccup, VanZant’s husband, Bellator middleweight contender Austin Vanderford, is still optimistic she is “destined for greatness.”

Vanderford shared a warm message about VanZant on Instagram on Monday.

“To my wife, my best friend, my heart and my soul,” Vanderford wrote about VanZant. “No outcome could ever change how proud I am of you and how proud I am to be married to you! You put yourself out there, completely vulnerable to the world, to entertain and chase a dream. There are going to be ups, there will also be downs. But none of that changes you as a PERSON. And I didn’t marry the entertainer or the fighter, I married the PERSON. Keep the focus my wife, BELIEVE you are destined for greatness, because I believe in you. There is no time to dwell, we fix the mistakes and move onto the next one. I love you.”

While Paige VanZant undoubtedly intended to conclude her UFC contract riding a win, she is likely to land on her feet, as she remains one of the most popular fighters in the MMA. Despite her loss, she can probably expect a new offer from the UFC—though perhaps not quite what she had envisioned—and offers from other promotions like Bellator and ONE Championship.

Where do you think Paige VanZant will end up after UFC 251?