Paige VanZant details scary stalker incident at American Top Team and the ex-UFC fighter who saved her

Paige VanZant details scary stalker incident at American Top Team and the ex-UFC fighter who saved her

Youtube star turned BKFC brawler Paige VanZant recently opened up about a scary stalker situation that she experienced.

Despite not having competed since 2021, ’12 Gauge’ continues to be one of the biggest names in all of combat sports, much of that due to her immense popularity on social media and through her OnlyFans account which grants fans unparalleled access to the former UFC flyweight.

Paige VanZant

Unfortunately, that level of fame does come with a potential downside. During a recent episode of her podcast, Paige and Austin: A Kickass Love Story, VanZant revealed that she had a run-in with a particularly chilling stalker who had approached her while she was training at her home gym, American Top Team.

“I had a stalker, a big-time stalker,” VanZant said on her podcast. “I’m training and I notice this guy watching me the whole time. Instantly, I got the vibe that this guy is f*cking weird and staring at me the whole time. I thought he’s a fan so you try to be nice. Of course, people can be nervous. It was the prime of my UFC career, maybe he was just a fan and was nervous.

“He comes over and starts talking to me. He’s like, ‘Hey, how are you? I’m so happy to meet you or I’m so happy that we’re together.’ I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ I was like, ‘What’s your name?’ He was like, ‘It’s blah blah blah, we’ve been talking on Instagram for years.’ I was like, ‘What?’”

Paige VanZant

Paige VanZant reveals the fighter who came to her rescue

As it turns out, the man had been messaging her on social media for years, sending multiple messages per day unbeknownst to VanZant.

“I go in the back [of the gym] and open the messages,” VanZant continued. “He has been messaging every single day. At least 10 to 20 messages for the last four years. Every day he would message and message and message about how we’re meant to be together. About how Allah told him we were meant to be together and how he was thinking about me the entire time he was in jail” (h/t BJPenn.com).

VanZant revealed that her ATT teammate and former UFC standout Ed Herman had noticed the man harassing ’12 Gauge’ and promptly ordered him to leave the gym. VanZant has not seen or heard from him since.

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It’s certainly not the first time VanZant has had to deal with an overzealous fan. Earlier this year, she claimed that one man had offered her $50,000 to cut her hair into a specific style — the caveat being that she had to send him all of her hair to collect the cash. VanZant admittedly mulled over the offer for a few days before ultimately declining.

Paige VanZant

Despite making money hand over fist through her ventures outside of the cage and the ring, Paige VanZant has remained insistent that she is not retired from fighting. In February, ’12 Guage’ announced that she had accepted a boxing match tentatively scheduled for May or June. VanZant initially expected her return to be for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, the promotion she signed with shortly after her exit from the UFC in 2020.

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VanZant remains hopeful that the promotion will bring her back for one more bare-knuckle fight.