VanZant Willing to Fight Rousey at 125
Paige VanZant is being groomed as a future superstar in the UFC, and she’ll take her next big step when she main events UFC on FOX: Sacramento on Saturday. As her the strawweight’s star grows, she is being mentioned more often in the same breath as another female fighter: Ronda Rousey.
Ahead of her Dec. 17 fight with Michelle Waterson, VanZant said that she is willing to fight Rousey, but there’s a catch: The 115 lb. fighter will move up no higher than 125 lbs., meaning Rousey would have to cut down from her usual fighting weight of 135.
"If she wants to meet at 125, (I’d fight her)," VanZant told TMZ. "I’d have to go up (from strawweight). I would consider going up to 125. It’s not that big of a weight gain for me. We’ll see if we meet at 125."
Rousey and VanZant are linked by more than just their star power, as the two reportedly had a heated run-in earlier this year. Rousey apparently confronted VanZant aggressively because VanZant congratulated Holly Holm on her UFC 193 knockout victory over Rousey.
VanZant later confirmed that the story was true, but said that she holds no ill feelings towards the former bantamweight champion.
Just two weeks after VanZant’s fight, Rousey will return at UFC 207 against current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. The last event of the year will be one of the most anticipated, with many questioning Rousey’s ability to recapture her former dominance after a year and change away from the sport.
Despite the less-than-cordial way Rousey recently approached VanZant, the 22-year-old believes that "Rowdy" will be successful in her return to the cage.
"I don’t believe in ring rust – I believe it’s 100 percent mental," VanZant said. "So if she’s 100 percent mentally focused on that night, then she’s going to win it. I would say Ronda by armbar."