Paige “12 Gauge” VanZant is an American mixed martial artist and former model. She fights in the flyweight division but has previously fought in the strawweight division.
VanZant was born and raised in Oregon. Her parents owned a dance studio and Paige danced ballet, jazz and hip hop until her early teens. She was considered somewhat of a tom boy due to her hobbies like riding dirt bikes and fishing. She was bullied in high school by a group of girls. She has done modelling for Nike and Columbia Sportswear.
After her family moved to Nevada and she was looking for dance studios, she found Ken Shamrock‘s gym where she started training in boxing and MMA.
Paige VanZant’s career before the UFC
She took her first amateur MMA fight at 18, which she won. VanZant made her pro MMA debut on June 30th 2012 against Jordan Nicole Gaza and won by split decision. She had her next fith against Amber Stautzenberger and won by unimous decision.
After the 2 wins she got the chance to fight in Invicta FC against top ranked Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres. Torres defeated VanZant by dominating her on the fight en route to a unanimous decision win for Torres. VanZant rebounded with a win and got signed to the UFC.
Paige VanZant’s career in the UFC
Since Paige VanZant was too young to enter the TUF house, she was the first strawweight fighter ever signed to the UFC. Her debut fight was against young up-and-comer Kailin Curran who she defeated by TKO in the 3rd round. VanZant won her first 3 fights in the UFC, where she beat Felice Herrig and Alex Chambers.
‘PVZ’s first loss in the UFC came to “Thug” Rose Namajunas by rear-naked choke. She followed that up with a win over Bec Rawlings with a high light reel knockout.
Paige VanZant fought Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson in her latest fight and lost by submission in the first round.