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Paige VanZant Believes Free Agency Value Won’t Change at UFC 251, Win or Lose

Paige VanZant still intends to test the free agent waters after UFC 251. But, "12 Gauge" doesn't believe her bargaining power will take a hit, if she takes a loss.

Paige VanZant will finally finish up her UFC contract on July 11th, when she takes on Amanda Ribas at UFC 251. While a lot of fighters would be feeling the pressure, in terms of scoring a win to enhance their bargaining power, “12 Gauge” says that’s not an issue.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

VanZant still plans to test free agency

The 26-year-old fighter has said several times in recent months that she plans to test free agency, once her UFC contract finishes up. Now that the final bout on her deal is right around the corner, that hasn’t changed.

While talking to ESPN recently, the star said this (quotes via MMA Junkie).

“I have my heart set and nobody is going to change my mind that I’m fighting my contract out,” VanZant said. “I don’t know where my future lies – I truly don’t.

I think that’s kind of an exciting thing in my life. I’ve been with the UFC for six years now, and through this time I’m still – which is crazy – on the same contract before I fought Rose (Namajunas) at 22 years old, and I’m 26 now.

“So somehow, through injury, being on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ being on TV, work I’ve done throughout all of this, I’ve been on the exact same contract since I was 22. That’s the contract I signed since I was 22.

But I just feel like a regular extension isn’t what I want. I want to prove my worth and my value and I want a brand new contract.

I’m really excited to get the opportunity and really test the free agency because how do you know what your value is unless you can go test it among the other sharks?”

““So I make $46,000 (to show) and (another) $46,000 (to win),” VanZant said.

“I’m not going to hide that because everyone knows. I can make way more money than that just promoting brands on Instagram, and that should say something…”

And so, while talking about what’s on the line in the final bout of her deal, in terms of her free agent value, VanZant said this.

“I truly do feel like my value doesn’t change whether I win or lose,” VanZant said. “I still have set myself up for success and I will still forever be Paige VanZant – but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to fight to die.

This fight matters to me more than any fight in my entire career, so I’m putting it all out there.”

Does VanZant have a point?

There’s a couple of ways to look at this. If VanZant loses badly at UFC 251, then, yes, there’s a chance her bargaining power will take somewhat of a hit.

But, in terms of what she’s making right now for a bout? A guaranteed $46,000, there’s no question that she’s going to be able to ask for much, much more than that, win or lose at UFC 251.

VanZant is one of the most recognizable and marketable female fighters on the UFC roster.

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