UFC Flyweight Paige VanZant’s Sports Illustrated Photos Have Been Revealed… The Popular MMA Fighter is Proud to be ‘Strong and Beautiful’… Check Out the Pics below…
Paige VanZant is one of the most famous MMA fighters on the planet. She’s genuinely a good fighter and has a very strong will, famously fighting with a broken arm. However, there’s no doubt that she adds some glamour to the roster as well. Her strong social media game attests to that.
’12-Guage’ has 2.1 million followers on Instagram. To put that in perspective, strawweight champion Rose Namajunas has exactly 1.1 million less. VanZant broke into the mainstream when she appeared on the popular celebrity contest Dancing With the Stars. Her autobiography was also very successful.
Now VanZant has followed in the footsteps of fellow UFC fighters like Ronda Rousey and Michelle Waterson, in appearing in Sports Illustrated. Like Rousey, VanZant appeared in the swimsuit edition. Check out some of the best pictures below.
VanZant spoke to SI.com about the photo shoot and explained her motivation behind taking part. She wanted to demonstrate that you can be a crazy, tough fighter who pushes their body to the limit and still embrace her femininity at the same time. She said:
“This is my way of not holding anything back. I want people to know that you don’t have to choose. You do not have to label yourself as one thing because that’s what surrounds you. I’m not scared anymore to show how girly I am. To go from an amazing UFC finish win in January to shooting for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine in February could not be more of a dream come true.”
The 25-year-old is also an inspirational figure. As a teenage girl she was allegedly raped by a group of boys at a party and because of this, she was brutally bullied at school, forcing her to even change her name. This motivated her to find her way into fighting which helped to heal after the traumatic experience.
“Fighting for me was never a choice,” Vanzant told Sports Illustrated. “It was never something I watched as a child or looked up to anyone doing. Fighting found me. It’s who I am. I walked into a gym one day and realized I was home. My career took off right when I was 18. It’s a rush. It’s dedication. Day in and day out sacrificing and grinding for the most amazing feeling in the world, getting your hand raised after a hard-fought war.”
Obviously, VanZant’s career has been helped by her looks. She’s very marketable, which is one of the reasons why she got an individual sponsorship deal from Reebok, although that has now expired. The young fighter has also been linked several times with the WWE. Don’t be surprised to see her there in the future. She summed up:
“Being in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is the pinnacle of my modeling career thus far. I would love to continue modeling and show off the girly side of me that people don’t get to see when I am training for fights.”