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Paige VanZant wants to fight ‘as soon as possible’ because she wasn’t hit at UFC 251

UFC 251: Ribas v VanZant Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Paige VanZant completed the final fight of her UFC contract earlier this month in Abu Dhabi, falling to flyweight sensation Amanda Ribas by way of first-round armbar. And while “12 Gauge” is not sure where she’ll compete next, she’s hoping to get back inside the cage before year’s end.

“I want to fight as soon as possible,” VanZant told MMA Fighting. “In my mind, I’m going to go ahead and delete that last fight and start over. I don’t know how long this negotiation stuff goes. I’m hoping quick, cause I definitely don’t have any injuries. I don’t even know if I got hit, so I’m ready to fight again.”

VanZant (8-5) jumped out to a 3-0 start to her UFC career with two finishes and was clearly favored by promotion president Dana White. But despite her popularity both inside and outside the Octagon, “12 Gauge” had a falling out with the promotion at some point over the last few years and has since put together a 2-4 record.

Which may or may not be attributed to her many injuries.

“For the first time in my life, I finally realized the losses definitely don’t define you,” VanZant continued. “Maybe I did have to hit rock bottom. It’s just going to make my comeback story that much greater coming off a loss and an arm injury, and I have 10-plus years to fight and show off how good I am.”

Goodbye UFC ... hello Bellator?