She’s a model and a dancer. Now Paige VanZant is about to become the youngest UFC female fighter ever and the second-youngest-fighter overall currently in the UFC. The 20-year-old will make her debut at UFC Fight Night in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She will take on fellow rookie, 21-year-old Kailin Curren, this October.
VanZant almost appeared at The Ultimate Fighter 20 when her contract was picked up from Invicta last year. However, she was not allowed to fight because of her age. She turned 20 in March, and a fighter must be 21 before they can enter the TUF house to compete.
The 5-foot-4 fighter from Nevada, who is 3 -1 as a professional, spoke about what she learned from her only pro loss, “When I fought Tecia Tores I finally came to the realization how much of a mental game fighting is. I have always been mentally focused and prepared before each fight except my fight against her, and it really showed. I know now to never step into the cage unless the only thing on my mind is how I am going to destroy my opponent.”
— Ben Sicely (@Shadow_008) August 7, 2014
All fighters have pre-fight routines, VanZant just likes to stay busy in order keep her mind clear, “I do everything I can to not think about the fight until I am walking out, otherwise I have an adrenalin dump. I get my nails done, watch my favorite tv shows, bake cookies. Whatever sounds nice that day. And then I get to the fight and warm up a little, once I walkout it’s on!!!”
This will be VanZant’s first fight in 2014. Raphael Assuncao and Bryan Caraway are also scheduled to fight at UFC Fight Night on October 4 in Nova Scotia.
Image via Twitter, Paige VanZant