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Paige VanZant: “Regular Job” Would Have Paid The Same as UFC Run

Paige VanZant has said she plans to test the free agent market, after UFC 251, and recently she provided some additional context as to why.

The final fight of Paige VanZant’s UFC contract is just a few days away, and as it nears, it seems clear  ’12 Gauge’ hasn’t changed her mind about testing the free-agent waters.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

VanZant says a “regular job” would have paid her the same

The 26-year-old fighter has headed to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi to battle Amanda Ribas at UFC 251, in what will be the final bout on VanZant’s current deal. For some time now, VanZant has let it be known that she intends to test the free-agent market, after her contract is up.

More recently, VanZant spoke with MMA Fighting, and the star confirmed she hasn’t changed those plans.

“I feel like I am betting on myself here,” VanZant said. “You don’t know your value until you test it. I want to know what people see my value as.

“I feel like more than ever, especially with me hurting myself, that if I’m going to be a professional fighter, I need it to be worth it for me.

It needs to be worth me breaking my arm everyday and walking into the cage and bleeding and sacrificing.”

“I’ve added up all the money I’ve made in the UFC over six years, and I could have just had a regular job with the same pay,” VanZant said.

“I’m so thankful for everything the UFC has done for me, the platform they’ve given me. This is nothing against the UFC.

But the contract I signed is what I signed and I know I need to honor it. That’s why I’m fighting this last fight out and I was never trying to break it early.”

Now, if you’re wondering, for VanZant’s last fight, which took place in January, 2019, she was reportedly paid $91,000. That doesn’t include any additional money she may have made via other sponsorships or discretionary bonuses.

That total also doesn’t reflect, however, what she had to pay in taxes and to her team. It’s also important to remember that if she had lost, that sum would have been half that.

At the end of the day, when you consider her fanbase, the fact she’s a mainstream name due to her run on ‘Dancing With The Stars’, there’s no doubt she’ll receive a pay hike. Further, there’s no question ’12 Gauge’ should get a significant pay hike, win or lose at UFC 251.

VanZant says medical bills for arm are no longer covered by UFC

Another big reason VanZant wants to earn more money is that apparently, any future medical bills she incurs as the result of issues with her arm, won’t be covered by the UFC.

“If I have any more problems with my arm, they aren’t covered by the UFC,” VanZant said. “They only cover up to a year after your injury date and then you have to pay. I don’t have my own health insurance, which is awful, but it’s expensive.

“A year after my injury, I went to go get another doctor’s opinion for my arm to make sure it’s all good and they’re like ‘your insurance is not covered anymore because the UFC only covers up to a year after your injury date.’

So I was like oh no, here we go. Now I have to think about getting health insurance to cover my arm injury that I broke in the UFC.”

So, ya. You can definitely understand why VanZant’s looking for a raise. Will she end her UFC deal on a winning note? Against the fast-rising Ribas?

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