Paige VanZant is just 20 years old, which made her ineligible for The Ultimate Fighter’s recent all-strawweight season.
Instead, the UFC signed VanZant to a contract and had her make her debut last month. She picked up a third round TKO victory over Kailin Curran that earned the to “Fight of the Night” and an additional $50,000.
So what does a 20-year-old who just won her Octagon debut do with such an incredible amount of money?
“I went shopping,” said VanZant, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I bought a lot of shoes. The rest went into savings.”
VanZant started training five years ago with former UFC champion Ken Shamrock. She made her pro debut in 2012 and won her first two fights before a decision loss last year to Tecia Torres. The first stoppage win of her career came in 2013 via first round rear-naked choke.
“I took my first amateur first quickly after (starting training) and won it, and went pro shortly after that because I figured if I was going to get punched in the face, I might as well get paid for it,” VanZant said. “My career took off.”
Despite not being able to compete on TUF, VanZant paid close attention to the season, knowing it would likely provide several future opponents.
“I loved the season,” she said. “I watched every fight. They’re all my potential opponents. I’m excited to fight someone from the TUF house next. I’ve seen every one fight, so I’m ready for them.”