In an interview with ESPN, Paige Vanzant expressed her desire to check out the free market after her UFC contract expires –
“I’m aiming for – there’s always a really big card at the end of the year for the UFC – so I’m hoping for that end of the year card,” ‘12 Gauge’ said of her return timeline.
She then proceeded to explain that the fight would be the last on her current UFC contract and that she wasn’t planning on re-signing until she’d had a chance to look at free agency.
“I am, yeah,” The 25-year-old said, when asked if she was planning to ‘fight out’ her contract. “You know, it’s more for me, I want to prove my worth. And obviously, with my arm injuries I’ve had three surgeries in a row now. Even though I’m so popular, I guess… I’ve been doing amazing things outside the UFC—Sports Illustrated, Dancing with the Stars, all these amazing things. I want to show, ‘Hey, I’m a huge player in this division. I’m a huge player in the UFC.’ And I think it’s going to take one more fight to do that. And more than anything, I’m just focused on getting back in the cage. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, or any stress behind anything. I just want to fight.”