Paige VanZant is one of the most popular women’s mixed martial artists on the planet. She has received a strong marketing push during her time in the UFC, but it hasn’t necessarily paid off financially.
VanZant’s appeal landed her in the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. VanZant became the second UFC fighter to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, with former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey being the first. She has also found success on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and was a winner of a celebrity edition of the Food Network’s Chopped.
And as it turns out, that time on Dancing With the Stars paid VanZant more money than her fighting career.
In fact, VanZant recently said in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that she made more money while on Dancing With the Stars than she has in all of her UFC fights combined.
“I made more money on Dancing with the Stars than I have in my entire UFC career combined. Every fight, every win, every bonus,” VanZant said. She previously stated that she made more money posting on Instagram than fighting.
“I just feel like a regular extension isn’t what I want, and I want to prove my worth and my value — and I want a brand-new contract. And I’m really excited to get that opportunity and really test the free agency because how do you know what your value is unless you can go test it amongst all the other sharks?”
Under her current contract, VanZant makes $46,000 to show and $46,000 to win.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 24, 2020
VanZant is set to return to action on July 11 against Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.