Slow and steady wins the race – that’s the mantra Paige VanZant (pictured) is adopting as her career begins its rapid ascent towards MMA superstardom.
VanZant shot up the UFC strawweight rankings to #7 after Saturday’s blowout unanimous decision victory over veteran Felice Herrig. The 21-year-old’s stock has never been hotter, and while she could push for a title fight given her popularity, endorsement deal with Reebok and the fact she’s the UFC’s new golden girl, she won’t.
On this week’s edition of “UFC Tonight,” VanZant’s manager said his client wants to take a methodical approach and work her way up the 115-pound totem pole and earn a crack at the crown based off her accomplishments inside the cage.
That’s probably a good idea, if you were to ask the only woman to ever beat VanZant in six professional outings. Earlier this week, Tecia Torres said VanZant wouldn’t find herself in a championship affair in her next bout because “I don’t think ‘Daddy Dana’ would give her a title shot, because he doesn’t want to see her die.”
“Daddy Dana,” of course, is UFC president Dana White.
White likened VanZant’s fast-rise to stardom to UFC featherweight top contender Conor McGregor’s. If that’s the gauge we’re going off of, “Notorious” is challenging Jose Aldo for his throne after five UFC appearances. VanZant has three more straight wins to go.
VanZant is hoping to return to action in the fall.