On Oct. 4, 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 20-year old Paige VanZant will make history when she steps inside the Octagon to meet Kailin Curran at UFC Fight Night 54 by becoming the youngest female to ever compete for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
But she'll be doing it without the assistance of her longtime camp, Team Alpha Male.
According to Urijah Faber, head cheese for the Sacramento, Calif.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) camp, Paige bolted unexpectedly to Reno, Nevada, to train and hasn't been seen or heard from since by members of her former team.
"You know what, Paige has left. She hasn't been around at all. I guess she, I don't know, I asked what was going on. She was renting a room in Sacramento, and the person who she was renting from got evicted and took all her money, and I don't know, she hasn't been around. I told her, let me know if there's any way I can help. I think she's out in Reno training with her jiu-jitsu people or something. I don't know where she is, man, for like the last month and a half or so, so I haven't seen her..."
"I just texted her yesterday to ask her how training is going. I haven't heard back from her, so I don't know, man. She's 20 years old, she's young. She's a very good athlete, she's still developing as a fighter, she believes in herself, she's a great looking girl. I think she's got a lot of potential. I mean, I would feel most comfortable if she was on the team. If she's going to represent the team, she needs to be in the gym. And so as of right now, she's not going to be able to represent the team when she fights."
Going into your Octagon debut can be very nerve-wracking, but going into it against an undefeated Curran (3-0) without the backing of your longtime trainers and coaches is taking a big gamble.
But, VanZant, who is 3-1 in her young combat sports career, likely has her ducks in a row and it's safe to assume that she's getting the proper training that can provide the flyweight contender the tools to be successful in his first-ever UFC fight.
And migrating to Nevada might up her chances of finding good training partners, aside from her "jiu-jitsu people," of course.
Still, you can't help but to wonder why Paige -- who got a straight shot to UFC -- would leave the team that helped pave her way to the Octagon right before her debut on the biggest stage of them all.
Conspiracy theorists, the floor is yours.