Paige VanZant is one of the most recognizable women in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. While she has yet to contend for a UFC title, the promising flyweight immediately showed off her star power and crossover appeal from the moment that she first entered the Octagon. Inside and out of the cage, VanZant draws attention.
After starting her professional mixed martial arts career with a 6-2 record, VanZant was invited to participate on the ABC hit show “Dancing With the Stars.” Because of her background in dance, VanZant impressed the judges and the viewers at home.
VanZant reached the season finale with her partner Mark Ballas, before finishing as the runner-up.
The 24-year-old also appeared on a celebrity edition of Chopped on the Food Network, edging out Dorothy Hamill to become the Chopped champion.
VanZant has struggled inside of the cage recently, however. Losing two of her last three outings, including a debut in a new division, VanZant will be looking to get back in the win column when she returns to action.
Away from fighting and reality show competitions, VanZant is also an inspiration.
VanZant recently opened up about her rise to fame and a tough high school career that included relentless bullying that eventually led to the changing of her last name from “Sletton” to “VanZant” in her new book Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life.
“12 Gauge,” which is a nickname she picked up from her father due to her love of hunting, is currently engaged to fellow professional MMA fighter Austin Vanderford, who is a former national champion and two time NAIA All-American wrestler.