— #UFCVancouver (@ufc) August 28, 2016
Paige VanZant made her return to the Octagon at UFC on FOX 21 after her impressive runner-up performance on Dancing With the Stars. Did her brief time under the mainstream spotlight make the 22-year-old soft, or did it help her footwork? In a word — sure.
Paige looked good early, she was moving well and had sharp leg kicks, but Paige would be overpowered by Bec Rawlings in the clinch, after which Paige would back out and do strange spinning kicks that wouldn’t come withing multiple feet of Rawlings.
But then, Paige opened up the second round with a huge jumping switch kick that blew Rawlings away. The unorthodox striking paid off in a big way. Just look at this:
The Photoshops are coming, no doubt…
Paige now has the most wins in the strawweight division, and looked downright slippery doing it. Impressive.
After the fight, Paige revealed that this was one of her toughest camps, and she was thinking about pulling out. Injuries, and Dancing With the Stars led to shortened prep time for Rawlings, but hey — you can’t deny the finish. Paige is looking good, but how will she look when she faces the upper echelon of the division?