Paige Michelle VanZant (born March 26, 1994) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Women's Strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A professional competitor since 2012, VanZant was a fighter in Invicta FC before moving over to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As of January 17, 2017 she is ranked No. 10 in the UFC Strawweight division.
Dundee, Oregon, United States
Mixed Martial Artist, TV Personality
Full Name at Birth
Paige Michelle VanZant
Wiki Bio Text
Date of Birth 26 March 1994, Sparks, Nevada, USA
Birth Name Paige Michelle VanZant
Nickname 12 Gauge
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Born March 26, 1994, Paige Michelle VanZant grew up in the small northwest town of Dayton, Oregon. A tomboy, she got her first ATV at the age of 8, enjoyed fishing and hunting with her father, and routinely got into boxing matches with her brother and the neighborhood boys.
Her parents owned a dance studio and VanZant excelled at the art, dancing competitively for 13 years. A natural athlete, she became a varsity cheerleader in high school as an underclassman where she began to be bullied and harassed by her peers. The incidents became so rampant that she eventually contacted the authorities on how to best deal with the situation. One of the responding officers suggested she learn self-defense. Shortly after this incident her family relocated to Reno, Nevada where VanZant took the officer's advice and enrolled in boxing classes.
A brilliant student, she began taking college courses at the age of 16 and received her GED two years ahead of schedule. During this time her father suggested she try MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and she invested herself fully in the discipline. She is noted for her constant pressure and aggressive grappling style of fighting and has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
VanZant has stated that continuous bullying in high school left her ashamed of her looks, but that with fighting she found self-confidence and has become a stronger person for it. Because of her personal experiences, she is an outspoken advocate against bullying.
In 2012 VanZant made her pro MMA debut and began to garner attention. In 2013 she was slated to appear on The Ultimate Fighter television series but had to pull out due to age restrictions since she was only 20 years old.
At the age of 20, VanZant made her UFC Strawweight debut on November 22, 2014 where she defeated Kailin Curran in stunning fashion by TKO in the third round. She is one of the youngest fighters to receive the Fight of the Night award.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Cheryl Delany
Has modeled for Colombia Sportswear and Nike, and in 2015 signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok.
Appeared in a Bissell mop commercial as a kid.
Won her UFC debut at the age of 20. The fight received Fight of the Night honors.
2016 - Ranked #8 Strawweight MMA fighter in the world.
Personal Quotes (17)
I put a lot of pressure on myself just because I hate losing more than I love to win.
There's just something about fighting that just makes sense for me. I do it because of the fun, the thrill behind it... the adrenaline. I guess I'm an adrenaline junkie.
I was bullied in high school. I went through a very traumatic freshman year. And I want to be a voice for all the girls out there that went through similar stories, or went through similar trials. I lost my voice at that time and I lost completely who I was, and I was able to find that through fighting. And I just want to be a positive role model and show that just because your world is crumbling at that point and time, there's always a future to look forward to.
I made a lot of sacrifices to be where I am, obviously. I moved out and on my own since I was 18. I kinda left everybody behind just to make this a career. So everything really finally paid off for me.
Once I found fighting, I knew I had to follow in Ronda's [Ronda Rousey] footsteps. I saw her career develop from the ground stages. Ronda's really opened the doors for women's MMA. Dana [Dana White] said there would never be women in the UFC and because of Ronda, there now are, and I have to be completely thankful for her. And if she wouldn't have created such an amazing 135 division, then it wouldn't have opened the doors for the 115 division.
I really hope to inspire young girls, especially being someone who was very bullied. I had to quit high school because it was so bad. Part of me wants them to see all my successes just to show that they couldn't break me. But I want to be just a voice. I want to show girls, no matter how bad it is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel... there really is. Whatever happens in middle school and high school, those sorts of things, it may seem like your world is crashing down, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And there's going to be good things that come from those traumatic experiences.
I've never been one to listen to authority, and especially people telling me I can't do something because I'm going to do what I want.
I was bullied a lot in high school and I think a lot of that had to do with, I guess, my looks. Going back, I wouldn't change it because it made me stronger. I'm too strong for them to shake me.
It's hard for me to go out there and meet guys because I'm at the gym every single day and that's pretty much the only time I'm ever around guys. So, I do think that men are intimidated, but it's not really something I'm looking for right now.
Girls can be catty, and that's just something you prepare for. And you know, that's not something that I have to have, I guess. I'm not that type of person. But going into fights, some people do have to be frustrated at their opponent. They have to be mad to be able to fight somebody. But for me, I'm just in love with this sport and I'm just really competitive, I would say. So, I love fighting, but I go in there to win.
I would love to transition into movies, and I definitely see how Ronda's [Ronda Rousey] able to balance that so well and continue with her fighting career. Once I'm done fighting or soon, I would love to get into movies. I would love that. That would just be huge for me. It's definitely something I'm passionate about.
I did do a talent show when I was in 5th Grade, and my talent was burping.
I got more hurt cheerleading than I ever have fighting. I broke my tailbone doing a back flip.
I really want to be a voice for young girls who have also been bullied. I went through a lot growing up, and it's things that if I talked about, you wouldn't even believe. It was a rough few years in high school, so I want to be a voice for them. I want to say that you don't have to play the victim. You can play the survivor and the fighter.
Some people feed off their emotions but for me, I'm just a happy person and being in the cage is a blessing for me. And the fact that I'm able to do this is a blessing, so I just go out there happy because I enjoy every second of it.
I grew up kind of backyard boxing with my brother and all the neighborhood kids. I think fighting was always in my blood. I grew up in the country so I rode dirt bikes and hunted. That's where I got my name - 12 Gauge. There was something about fighting that kind of stuck.
There's a certain stereotype behind what a fighter is - It's aggressive. It's animalistic. I don't fit that stereotype. It's hard for me to communicate that's not who I am. I'm a girly girl who happens to love punching people in the face.
UFC 191: Johnson vs. Dodson (2015) $24,000
Couple Profile Source
Bissell mop, Colombia Sportswear, Nike
Truckee Meadows Community College
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Athletic Body, Beautiful Smile
Reebok, Purus Labs supplement brand
Thai Food, Mexican Food, Wings, Pizza
Claim to Fame
the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Women’s Strawweight division
Couple Profile Source
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