Paige VanZant is the latest UFC star to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, and several of the photos from her spread in the magazine have now been released on the World Wide Web.
Paige VanZant shared a few of the highlights on her official Instagram page. The full collection, meanwhile, can be viewed on the official Sports Illustrated Swimsuit site.
“I was unbelievably shocked that SI Swimsuit called and asked if I would be apart of their magazine,” VanZant told SI.com, recounting her initial reaction to this high profile photoshoot. “I have constantly been having to prove to the world and UFC fans that you can be beautiful and a bad ass at the same time. Well, now it’s my moment to shine.
“As a little girl I aspired to be a lot of things,” she added. “Dirt bike racer, professional dancer, fire fighter or a model. I got a small taste of modeling as a child by being in some ads for a few clothing companies. I never got a real feel for it until later on in my career. Being in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is the pinnacle of my modeling career thus far. I would love to continue modeling and show off the girly side of me that people don’t get to see when I am training for fights.”
While Paige VanZant has been killing it in her efforts outside the cage, her love for fighting has not wavered.
“Fighting for me was never a choice,” she said. “It was never something I watched as a child or looked up to anyone doing. Fighting found me. It’s who I am. I walked into a gym one day and realized I was home. My career took off right when I was 18. It’s a rush. Its dedication. Day in and day out sacrificing and grinding for the most amazing feeling in the world, getting your hand raised after a hard fought war.”
Paige VanZant doesn’t currently have a fight booked, but the fan favorite flyweight contender is likely to return to the cage quite soon. Stay tuned for updates on her next appearance as details emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/9/2019.