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Paige VanZant won't be part of The Ultimate Fighter 20 women's strawweight cast

Contrary to earlier reports, Urijah Faber says that Team Alpha Male's Paige VanZant won't be part of the TUF 20 cast, and has just signed on directly with the UFC.

Photo by Esther Lin

The Ultimate Fighter's 20th season will be a milestone of sorts, with the UFC using the long running reality show to open a new women's strawweight division and crown an inaugural champion. 11 strawweights were transferred from Invicta to the UFC, with the rest of the TUF 20 slots to be filled via fighter tryouts this April.

Original reports have Paige VanZant (3-1) as part of those transferees for TUF, and while she indeed has signed with the UFC, the Team Alpha Male product won't be part of the TUF 20 cast coached by Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez.

"Paige has now signed straight with the UFC," Urijah Faber told Bloody Elbow, stating that VanZant won't be allowed into the TUF house because the young prospect is still below the age requirement. With alcohol routinely being part of the UFC reality show, they require fighters to be of legal drinking age, which unfortunately takes this 20-year-old out of the picture.

She will still be able to ply her trade in the Octagon though, and while she won't have the first crack at the championship, she also wouldn't have to go through the grueling season just to enter the UFC.

"I haven't taken a look at that strawweight division yet, but she works hard and she's got a good head on her shoulders," Faber said as he talked about VanZant's chances in the new UFC division, "She's an athlete, that's for sure. Hopefully she does really well."

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