Paige VanZant's flyweight venture gets off to absolutely disastrous start
Say what you want about Paige VanZant, but she doesn't have any quit in her.
It wasn't that long ago when Paige VanZant claimed she was getting a crack at the flyweight title.
The rising starlet was coming off a loss and head yet to fight at 125 lbs when she sent that tweet. Dana White subsequently confirmed it was bollocks, but the claim added some extra intrigue for her flyweight debut against Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC St Louis.
'12 Gauge' is very marketable, had mainstream exposure on Dancing With The Stars and the division has only just begun. If she made a statement in the Scottrade Center, she wouldn't have been that far away from being in the title picture.
My next fight is against the winner of the 125 division Ultimate Fighter. Don’t blink.
— Paige VanZant (@paigevanzant) November 5, 2017
Unfortunately for VanZant, the fight didn't go according to plan.
She started off active on the feet, but once Clark got the fight down to the mat, she just held her there for most the round. VanZant was helpless off her back as Clark made sure it turned into a ground fight. There was more of the same in the second round as Clark utilised her size advantage to keep VanZant on the canvas to wear her down.
When VanZant went back to her corner after the second frame, she revealed to her coaches that she broke her arm in the opening frame.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
Indeed, it seemed like a spinning back-fist in the first round caused the break.
VanZant landed the strike pretty cleanly, but once the buzzer sounded it was clear something went wrong when it found home. As she made her way back to the corner, she grabbed her arm and winced in agony.
— Joshua Sánchez (@jnsanchez) January 15, 2018
The third round was VanZant's best of the fight. She tried to improvise on the feet, but it simply wasn't enough. By then Clark had the result in the bag.
Clark (9-2-1) took a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) to improve to 2-0 in the UFC. VanZant (7-2) is now 1-3 in her last four.