Paige VanZant: Instagram Posting Pays Better Than UFC Does

Photo Credit: Paige VanZant, Instagram

“I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting,” flyweight fight star Paige VanZant told Ariel Helwani on his MMA Show yesterday.

One of the most recognizable faces in women’s MMA, VanZant burst onto the public radar in 2014 with her defeat of Kailin Curran, landing quick promotional deals with Reebok despite having what critics called too little experience to be a face in martial arts. VanZant went on to defeat Felice Herrig and submit Alex Chambers, driving the UFC to renew her contract in 2015.

That contract is now about to be up, and VanZant is speaking out on how hard it is to survive as a top fighter on the UFC’s salary.

“I do think that my value is significantly higher than what I am currently ‘valued’ at,” she explained. “I want a significant pay raise to be completely honest. When I fought Michelle Waterson we had some of the highest views on FOX in years and years…coming off of Dancing With the Stars, with the fan base I’ve been able to build up…I’ve been extremely accomplished outside of the UFC as well as inside the UFC. I see these other stars that cross over from these other organizations–take CM Punk, Greg Hardy, all these other stars and what the UFC values them at. I do know how much I make in comparison to them.” She went on to list her performance as a two-time main event draw, fight finisher, and fighter who gets submission finishes which fans love.

“If I were to stop everything I do [endorsement-wise] outside of fighting and just focus on fighting I would be at a loss financially, by a long shot,” VanZant continued. “I think it’s all fighters. All of us should be getting paid more in general, especially the women.”

VanZant echoes sentiments shared by fighters like Cris Cyborg, Joanne Calderwood,Al Iaquinta, Vitor Belfort, who have all spoken out about how the UFC devalues its fighters.

VanZant’s pro record stands at 8-4, with 5 wins in the the UFC. She has one fight left on her existing contract with the promotion.


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