Paige VanZant is begging for a fight. On Tuesday the UFC flyweight took to Instagram and asked the UFC to give her a fight, then listed 18 fighters who are wiling to take her on.
The fighters she listed to have asked for a fight with her are: Miranda Granger, Antonina Shevchenko, Emily Whitmire, Andrea Lee, Montana De La Rosa, Lauren Mueller, Shana Dobson, Veronica Macedo, Alexa Grasso, Diana Belbita, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Wu Yanan, Angela Hill, Poliana Botelho, Molly McCann, Jodie Esquibel and Nadia Kassem. That's a lot of options for UFC president Dana White to consider.
Unfortunately, White claims the 25-year-old VanZant turned down a fight against Maycee Barber at flyweight and strawweight. Apparently, that's the fight White really wants to make.
VanZant has claimed she doesn't want to give Barber a "money fight" after what she believes has been disrespectful behavior from the 21-year-old up-and-comer. VanZant claims Barber slid into her husband's DMs. Barber doesn't deny the claim.
VanZant has one fight left on her UFC contract and is coming off a win in her last matchup with Rachael Ostovich in January. She has dealt with injuriesover the past few years and appears to finally be healthy.
After stints on Dancing with the Stars and Chopped, and a spread in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, VanZant has the potential to be a crossover star. The UFC needs people like that on its roster. Especially with Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar gone and Conor McGregor not fighting regularly.
VanZant boats 2.3 million Instagram followers and is active and interactive with her fans daily. That's huge for an organization that has long had trouble creating stars to build with.
Despite just two wins in her last five fights, VanZant is one of the most recognizable female fighters in the UFC. It would be foolish for the organization to let her walk away. With that in mind, they should give her the kind of fight she wants and hope she works her way back up the flyweight rankings.