After several draining weight cuts down to strawweight, Paige VanZant was finally set to fight in a weight class that suited her better versus Jessica Eye at October 7’s UFC 216.
That will have to wait, however, as news broke today (Mon., September 25, 2017) that VanZant had been forced out of the bout due to injury according to a report on the UFC’s official website.
The exact nature of the injury was not revealed by the UFC, but a report from MMA Fighting clarified that VanZant had suffered an intervertebral disc ailment in jiu-jitsu training that will not require surgery.
It’a setback for “12 Gauge,” who has been out of action since December 2016 when she lost to Michelle Waterson by first-round submission in the main event of UFC on FOX 21. Once touted as one of the best up-and-coming prospects in female MMA, VanZant has now lost two out of her last three bouts by submission, with her only victory in that span coming over an unranked Bec Rawlings.
For Eye, it’s even more disappointing, as the Cleveland-based fighter was looking to reinvent herself after four straight losses to top competition at bantamweight. ‘Evil’ had seen her previously scheduled bout with Aspen Ladd at July’s The Ultimate fighter (TUF) 25 Finale also fall apart due to injury, leaving her out of competition since a split decision loss to Bethe Correia at UFC 203 in September 2016.