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Paige VanZant

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Born March 26, 1994, Paige Michelle VanZant grew up in the small northwest town of Dayton, Oregon. A tomboy, she got her first ATV at the age of 8, enjoyed fishing and hunting with her father, and routinely got into boxing matches with her brother and the neighborhood boys. Her parents owned a dance studio and VanZant excelled at the art, dancing competitively for 13 years. A natural athlete, she became a varsity cheerleader in high school as an underclassman where she began to be bullied and harassed by her peers. The incidents became so rampant that she eventually contacted the authorities on how to best deal with the situation. One of the responding officers suggested she learn self-defense. Shortly after this incident her family relocated to Reno, Nevada where VanZant took the officer's advice and enrolled in boxing classes. A brilliant student, she began taking college courses at the age of 16 and received her GED two years ahead of schedule. During this time her father suggested she try MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and she invested herself fully in the discipline. She is noted for her constant pressure and aggressive grappling style of fighting and has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. VanZant has stated that continuous bullying in high school left her ashamed of her looks, but that with fighting she found self-confidence and has become a stronger person for it. Because of her personal experiences, she is an outspoken advocate against bullying. In 2012 VanZant made her pro MMA debut and began to garner attention. In 2013 she was slated to appear on The Ultimate Fighter television series but had to pull out due to age restrictions since she was only 20 years old. At the age of 20, VanZant made her UFC Strawweight debut on November 22, 2014 where she defeated Kailin Curran in stunning fashion by TKO in the third round. She is one of the youngest fighters to receive the Fight of the Night award.  See full bio on IMDb »

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