After mixed results — and a couple of brutal weight cuts — Paige VanZant was ready to say goodbye to the strawweight division and test her might one weight class above, now that UFC has created a women’s flyweight division.
In fact, she was already set to throw hands with former bantamweight Jessica Eye, who like “12 Gauge,” was closing up shop at her old division to move down to her more natural weight.
Then came a pesky back injury and VanZant was yanked from last month’s UFC 216 fight card. That left Eye without a fight (and without a paycheck). So you can imagine her surprise when the former Dancing with the Stars finalist got all patched up and ready to fight ... someone else.
From her lengthy Facebook rant (via MMA Fighting):
“Now I receive a phone call today that Paige VanZant, again, this time [isn’t] injured, but is refusing to fight me. You said that this fight does nothing for you, because I’m coming off a loss and that it’s too tough. I appreciate you messing with my holiday. I appreciate you lying to me, and I also appreciate not being a true woman and a true professional, and after you had said Saturday in multiple interviews that you had a contract you were getting ready to sign. If there’s anything you can learn from this, learn to be a little bit more of an adult, and stop lying to your fans and stop lying to people who follow you, and actually fight the toughest. Again, this isn’t the UFC’s fault. This is a Paige VanZant problem. This is what you did, Paige, and it’s extremely unfair and you should be ashamed of yourself, truly.”
I wonder what Derrick Lewis has to say about this one.
VanZant (7-3) jumped out to three straight wins after making her Octagon debut in late 2014; however, she’s since gone 2-2 and got tapped twice in submission losses to Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson.
Hence, the trip north.
While her 11-6 record is far from atrocious, Eye’s UFC run has been a complete disaster. The “Evil” mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran is just 1-5 (1 NC) since crossing over in late 2013 and currently mired in a four-fight losing streak.
But in her defense, VanZant did promise to fight “anyone who is available.”