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Paige VanZant ready to return to cage after DWTS success


Paige VanZant ultimately fell short of her three-month quest to win “Dancing With the Stars,” earning runner-up honors to season champion Nyle DiMarco, a deaf model who once won “America’s Next Top Model.”

Now, that VanZant is done with the dancing competition, she is sure to be thankful for the incredible platform and exposure that put her in front of a different audience than the MMA world.

However, VanZant told shortly after the competition wrapped that she’s ready to get back in the cage.

“I feel really happy. I won in my book because I was able to get out there and use my platform for something very positive, and at the same time I’m very ready to get back in the cage,” VanZant said.

During the season, VanZant provided the audience and judges with some of the most impressive routines the show has ever seen.

She was able to parlay that success into a movie role in an upcoming “Kickboxer” film, while making appearance after appearance on the morning talk show circuit.

But through all of that, the desire to fight again in the UFC was strong.

There is no word on when VanZant will return to the Octagon, but we know the 22 year old will anxiously be waiting for a call.

“You know what? I feel like I have a fire lit underneath me right now,” she said. “I’m ready to get back in the cage and fight again. I’ve been away from my home and the UFC way too long, so I’m excited to get a fight. And I have a role in the upcoming ‘Kickboxer’ movie, the remake with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and I film next month over in Thailand. So I’m going to take my fight camp over to Thailand for a little while. It’s a very short filming, just a few days, and the rest of it I’ll be using as a fight camp. I’m bringing a trainer to Thailand and we’re just going to focus and get ready for a fight, because I’m ready to get back in there.

“It’s up to the UFC, but I want to get back in there as soon as possible. I think my manager’s going to say, ‘Hey, we might want to train first.’ But I’m ready, and I miss the UFC.”

Who would you like to see VanZant fight in her next UFC appearance? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

Josh studied journalism at Seton Hill University. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Sports. Josh is currently a member of the FWAA and USBWA. His work has been featured on Sports Illustrated,,, and many others.
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