UFC women’s strawweight Paige VanZant is one of the rising stars of mixed martial arts and one of the top-ranked fighters in her weight class. Now, she will continue to build her brand and improve her drawing power on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” this summer.
VanZant (6-2) is pretty happy about her chance to be included on the show. VanZant discussed her excitement and said it has been a crazy experience so far.
“It’s been surreal,” VanZant told FOX Sports. “Even when we got to announce it, it was such a big production and I couldn’t believe that I was sitting on the stage with all these huge names and being a part of it. I’m excited to be one of four athletes on the show.”
Despite being involved with this show, Paige VanZant knows that her ultimate goal is to get farther along in her career in the Octagon. She said that she wants to get to UFC 200 and have a match after getting a win on the show.
“Throughout this I’m going to be trying my hardest to win, but I’m also going to be training the entire time. I am still a fighter first,” VanZant said. “The goal is still UFC 200; I’ve known for a while that’s the one I want to be on. Perfect timing. If I were to make it to the finals of this, I’d still have a six-to-eight-week fight camp, which would be great. I’m still training in LA. I’m not missing out on anything. I’m excited to hopefully win on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and then go fight on UFC 200.”
VanZant looks to hopefully bounce back from a submission loss to Rose Namajunas at UFC Fight Night in December, her first since joining UFC and just the second in her career.
Other athletes included on season 22 of “Dancing With The Stars” are Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown and former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie.
It’s safe to say that VanZant’s background as a dancer should allow her to enter the season as one of the favorites.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports