Move over Leon and Mathilda, there’s a new deadly duo hitting the mean streets.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight sensation Paige VanZant has parted ways with Team Alpha Male — again — to move back to Portland, Oregon, near her family.
While she’s there, former UFC middleweight No. 1 contender and longtime friend, Chael Sonnen, is helping “12 Gauge” get her mixed martial arts (MMA) career back on track.
The No. 11-ranked VanZant talks to MMA Fighting:
"I’m getting used to training with a new fight camp. I moved back to Portland, Oregon, to be with family, so I guess I’m taking some time to adjust to a new fight team and a new gym for my upcoming fight. Me and Chael Sonnen have the same management team. I’ve been friends with Chael for a while. I knew he was in Portland and he had a really successful fight team out in Portland. I just called him and he really took me under his wing, he set me up with a great MMA gym, which is Gracie Barra with Fabiano, and he also set me up with an amazing conditioning program. I can see myself growing. Training with Fabiano, he has some of the best jiu-jitsu I've ever had in my life, so I can definitely see the difference in my fight game because of him. I can already tell I’m getting a lot better. It’s really cool to be working with someone so positive and so talented like he is.”
Hopefully he doesn’t violate the bro code.
VanZant (7-3) was able to bypass The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 by way of age discrimination and jumped out to red-hot 3-0 start inside the Octagon. Unfortunately, “12 Gauge” was shot down by Rose Namajunas at UFC Fight Night 80, before splitting a pair of fights against Bec Rawlings and Michelle Waterson.
Sultry Reebok ads aside, the future is still bright for the 23-year-old strawweight.