VanZant moved back to Portland for family, fresh start

Posted: 15/05/2017 in MMA, Sports
Tags: , , , ,


Anyone hoping that Paige VanZant’s departure from Team Alpha Male would lead to major drama will be sorely disappointed.

Unlike the rift that recently formed between Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber and TJ Dillashaw over Dillashaw’s decision to split his training with another camp, VanZant’s move from Sacramento to Portland got the thumbs up from Faber.

For VanZant, it was simply a matter of returning to her home state. The 23-year-old strawweight was submitted by Michelle Waterson in her last fight and though that wasn’t the reason she decided to leave Alpha Male, it could be the change she needs to get her career back on track.

“I was just kind of planning it already,” VanZant told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. “My whole family is from Portland, I just always had it on my mind that I wanted to be back around family, and it was just a perfect time for me to start over and train with a new camp and be around a huge support and finally have family in my life again.”

VanZant spent the last few years training in California, a situation that made it easier for her to pursue opportunities outside of fighting. She had a memorable run on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2016, finishing as a runner-up on the popular reality competition, which is filmed in Los Angeles.

Now, VanZant is settling into the Gracie Barra Portland camp alongside Bellator star Chael Sonnen and jiu-jitsu coach Fabiano Scherner. Once VanZant becomes acclimated to her new surroundings, she’s hoping matchmakers keep booking her against elite competition.

“It’s really up to the UFC,” VanZant said. “I would like it to be in the top 10 if there’s people available. So you know, we’ll see it’s just whoever doesn’t have a fight, whoever’s ready at the same time, or whoever the UFC gives me.”


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