Paige VanZant wants to get paid her worth — which is why she plans on testing free agency after this weekend.
VanZant has one fight left on her deal and has been planning to test free agency for a while only to suffer a string of broken arms and undergo multiple surgeries which have prevented her from completing the final fight of her contract. For now, things seem to be alright as she gets set to face Amanda Ribas in the UFC 251 main card opener on Saturday.
But the plan remains the same — test the market and listen to offers before she competes again. Especially as she claims she could have made the same money she has done with the UFC with a regular job over the past six years.
“I’ve added up all the money I’ve made in the UFC over six years, and I could have just had a regular job with the same pay,” VanZant told MMA Fighting. “I’m so thankful for everything the UFC has done for me, the platform they’ve given me. This is nothing against the UFC. But the contract I signed is what I signed and I know I need to honor it. That’s why I’m fighting this last fight out and I was never trying to break it early.
“It’s important to fight this fight out, honor my contract and then say listen this is my value and this is what I need to be paid to make it worth it.”
VanZant Wants To Prove Point To UFC
VanZant’s plans come in the midst of a fighter pay dispute many, such as Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal, are having with the UFC. Like many, the women’s flyweight believes everyone should be paid more, especially given the nature of the sport.
And she is hoping that a win over a tough opponent in Ribas will give her the edge in future negotiations with the promotion.
“I wanted to fight somebody who was really good,” VanZant said. “Somebody who was ranked. Someone who it really mattered when I beat them.
“This is the last fight on my UFC contract and I want to be able to go to the UFC and be like ‘listen, this is how good I am. Yeah you haven’t seen me fight in a while and I break my arm a lot and I’ve always done always done other things but ultimately I’m a good fighter.’ I think this is a fight if I beat Amanda, it will prove that.”
What do you make of VanZant’s comments?