UFC star Paige VanZant has been looking to get back into the octagon for the past few months. Her claim of fighting the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 26, however, has been debunked by Dana White.
During the UFC 217 broadcast Saturday night, Paige VanZant decided to shake things up a little. Posting to her official Twitter account, “12 Guage” stated that her next fight would come against the winner of TUF 26. That’s the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, which will crown the UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion at year’s end.
My next fight is against the winner of the 125 division Ultimate Fighter. Don’t blink.
— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) November 5, 2017
For obvious reasons, the post got the MMA community talking. VanZant has not fought in nearly a year, when she was submitted by Michelle Waterson in the main event of UFC on FOX 22. She has also never competed at flyweight, though making the 125lb limit should be no issue for the strawweight fighter. Paige was booked into a flyweight contest against Jessica Eye at UFC 216 in October, but was forced out due to a number of health issues.
However, her profile, and the UFC’s history of dubious title shots (Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones and Nick Diaz vs. Georges St. Pierre come to mind), made it seem like a possibility.
Following Saturday’s big event at Madison Square Garden, however, UFC President Dana White put the idea to rest. Speaking to the assembled media at the post-fight press conference, White was asked about Paige VanZant’s claim.
“That’s not true. Not that I’m aware of.” The UFC head then added “I love Paige and everything, but that’s not true.”
Unless someone else at WME-IMG (or Endeavour, as it’s now called) or within the UFC has been making offers, then it seems like VanZant’s quest for gold will have to wait. In the meantime, the winner of TUF 26 will be crowned December 1 at the Park Theater in Las Vegas.