Paige Michelle Vanderford, known as Paige VanZant in professional circles, is an American mixed
martial artist currently signed to the flyweight division of UFC.
Born and raised in Oregon, Paige VanZant was brought up in the world of dancing, since her parents
owned a studio for ballet, jazz and hip hop. An incident of rape and subsequent bullying and
harassment during high school years turned out to be one of the main reasons why she chose to be
a martial artist later in life. Her first MMA fight was in June, 2012 at UWF’s Tournament of Warriors
against Jordan Nicole Gaza, which she won by split decision.
A year and a half later, Paige VanZant was announced as one of the 11 women signed by UFC for its
new Strawweight division. As a strawweight, she started by defeating Kailin Curran by TKO and went
on to compete with Felie Herrig, Alex Chambers, Bec Rawlings and Michelle Waterson as well as
grabbed a Reebok sponsorship deal.
VanZant’s debut as a Flyweight fighter got delayed due to multiple injuries and ailments.
Unfortunately, she broke her arm in the first round when the match finally happened against Jessica-
Rose Clark and lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Personal Life and other appearances
Paige VanZant is married to Austin Vanderford, also a professional MMA fighter and national
wrestler in January, 2018. She has been one of the celebrities on the 22nd season of Dancing with
the Stars in 2016 and ended in second place. She was also one of the 16 participants in the cooking
Her biography Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life, which released in 2018, talks about her life’s
struggles – both personal and professional, her rise to fame and her participation in UFC and the TV
Her win-loss figure stands at 7-4 as of January 18, 2019. VanZant’s next match is scheduled on
January 19 against Rachel Ostovich where she will come back from a year’s break.