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Paige VanZant: 'I proved I didn't need to be on The Ultimate Fighter to make a name for myself'

Esther Lin

Paige VanZant made her Octagon debut last Saturday night (Nov. 22, 2014) by beating the brakes off Kailin Curran on the UFC Fight Night 57 "Prelims" card inside the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas (recap).

Not bad for a fighter who couldn't make it onto season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).

She definitely had the talent, but she didn't meet the age requirement. Not that being 20 years old has kept her from wrecking shop in mixed martial arts (MMA).

From the "Edgar vs. Swanson" post-fight presser (via MMA Junkie):

"I definitely think I proved myself in this fight that I didn't need to be on ‘The Ultimate Fighter' to make a name for myself, and I'm really excited to fight whoever comes out of ‘The Ultimate Fighter' house as soon as possible. There's a lot of girls in that house that I'd match myself up with; one of the standout fighters was Tecia Torres. She's my only loss. So I'm excited to get that rematch with her, or whoever comes out of ‘The Ultimate Fighter' house, or the belt holder when that happens."

TUF 20 Finale airs on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada, which signals the beginning of the promotion's strawweight era. Depending on who makes it into the semifinals -- and ultimately the finale -- there is a very strong possibility we could see "12 Gauge" get that rematch she's after.

And it would be hard to bet against her based on what we saw in "The Lone Star State" (full results here).

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