Paige VanZant is closing in on the final fight of her UFC contract, which is expected to lead to free agency later this year, or perhaps first quarter 2020. Not because the 25 year-old flyweight no longer wants to be a part of the promotion, but rather because “12 Gauge” believes she’s underpaid.
In fact, VanZant (8-4) recently told ESPN that she earns more money on Instagram than she does as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, suggesting the promotion failed to capitalize on her mainstream appeal, which includes a run on Dancing With The Stars, as well as a sizzling spread in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
UFC President, Dana White, was either holding his tongue or completely unfazed.
“Good for her,” White chuckled during last night’s “Contender Series” media scrum (skip to 14:45 for the VanZant talk). “That’s awesome. Listen, if a fighter can make more money doing other things, good for her.”
UFC fighters can make more money doing other things, like fighting for Bellator MMA and ONE Championship. That’s according to White himself, who appears to have softened his stance on what former middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, refers to as “disgruntled” ex employees.
After all, in this sport you eat what you kill.