Paige VanZant is a marketable young star that the UFC has not been shy about promoting. The 21-year-old who trains out of Team Alpha Male has put together a three-fight winning streak to start her UFC career and has an upcoming main event slot against Joanne Calderwood at a UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas this December.
So what has allowed such a young competitor to make an early impact in the sport of mixed martial arts?
Well, if you ask VanZant, a large part of her success comes from her dance career.
“I would have to give a lot of thanks to my dance teachers,”VanZant said, via FOX Sports. “[My dance teachers] taught me how to compose myself. They taught me how to be in a professional setting. And, definitely my parents.
“I don’t think people really understand how much of an athlete you have to be to do dance. I was in it competitively and did a little bit of professional dance, so I’d have to give them thanks.”
That poise VanZant learned at such a young age has certainly helped her in her career.
VanZant is known for her slick ground game and ability to keep come regardless of the position she is put in. The poise came from dance which also gave her a self belief that she was destined for stardom.
“I love every second of it, and I’ve always known from a young age I was meant for the spotlight,” she added. “I didn’t know what platform that would be, and it just happened to be MMA.”
Now, with the main event spotlight shining, VanZant has the opportunity to score the biggest win of her career.
It would be the second top-15 win for the youngster and could give her the push she needs to earn a title shot at 115-pounds against either Joanna Jedrzejczyk or Valerie Letourneau, who fight for the title in the co-main event of UFC 193.
We will find out if VanZant is ready to take the next step in her career on Dec. 10 when she faces Calderwood at The Cosmipolitan in Vegas.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Reebok