UFC 251 main card kicked off with an interesting women’s strawweight fight as veteran Paige VanZant took on upcoming highly regarded prospect Amanda Ribas.
With both VanZant and Ribas being purple and black belt in BJJ respectively, the fight was bound to hit the mats sooner or later. That’s exactly what happened as Ribas was lock a slick armbar to defeat VanZant via first round submission.
After an impressive start to her UFC career, ’12 Gauge’ has been fairly inactive and alternating between wins and losses. The strawweight has also been involved in other ventures outside the octagon which apparently earn her more revenue than fighting.
Free agency for VanZant?
“I think that.. Look I like Paige. I like Paige. You know it’s like (Curtis) Blaydes. When I talked, you know when Blaydes fought last. When you talk all that stuff like ‘oh I am not being paid enough’… You know, fighting inconsistently. You know, one time in the last year. Injuries and stuff. Then you come get smoked in the first round of the fight. Yea, she should definitely test free agency.”
Keeping in mind her husband Austin Vanderford fighters under the Bellator banner, that may be the place for VanZant as well.
Pay disputes between VanZant and the UFC?
Speaking in an interview with Ariel Helwani, VanZant addressed the UFC pay structure and that she earns more outside of fighting due to her notoriety in ‘Dancing with the stars’.
“I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting. When I did my contract negotiation the last time, the talk was, ‘I can’t pay you more than a female champion. Okay, but why are you comparing me to just women? All of us should be getting paid more in general. I want a significant pay raise, to be completely honest.”