It was her first time in The Octagon, but Paige VanZant won her Ultimate Fighter Championship debut against Kailin Curran (3-0) after she knocked her out in the third round at UFC Fight Night 57 Saturday. She took to Twitter over the weekend to thank her fans for their support.
“Winner winner!!!!” she tweeted. “God and my fight team got me this win tonight!!:) thank you.” She added the hashtags “FanZant,” “UFCAustin” and “UFC.”
The official UFC Twitter page congratulated VanZant on her win. “Welcome to the UFC, Paige.”
"What better way to kick off my UFC career than with a bonus! I'm still in shock" -@PAIGEVANZANT Welcome to the UFC, Paige.
— #TheTimeIsNow (@ufc) November 23, 2014
After her victory, VanZant plans to continue mixed martial arts fighting. “.........and this is only the beginning!!” she wrote.
— Paige Vanzant (@PAIGEVANZANT) November 23, 2014
It’s an unlikely career change for the former model, 20, who originally started to fight because she was bored. “I started with boxing, and my coaches told me I had a lot of potential (in MMA), and that I should consider making it a career,” VanZant told Fox Sports. “I was like, ‘Whatever.’”
The UFC women’s straw weight wanted to appear on the reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter 20,” but wasn’t admitted to the cast because of her age. VanZant said it ultimately worked out in her favor that she wasn’t allowed on the show. “It was bittersweet not being on The Ultimate Fighter,” she said, according to Yahoo Sports. “I was really fortunate that I was considered for such a great thing. But this ended up being the best thing for me.” VanZant added she didn’t need the reality show to “make a name” for herself.
VanZant, who is the youngest women’s MMA fighter, received a $50,000 bonus for her “Fight of the Night” acknowledgement.
Her Twitter fans looked forward to her next fight. Some of their comments have been posted below:
— Miranda (@Miranduh7) November 23, 2014
— Chris Solis (@crsliz) November 23, 2014
Congrats #paigevanzant Awesome fight!!
— Jessica (@Mrs_Honky) November 23, 2014
— Mookie (@MooMooMags) November 23, 2014
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