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Paige VanZant expected Felice Herrig match up 'because we're the hot girls' in MMA

Paige VanZant says that in the back of her mind, she knew she would eventually fight Felice Herrig because they were both 'the hot girls in the sport'.

Photo by Esther Lin

Paige VanZant has been receiving a huge marketing push just one-fight into the UFC. After going on an extensive media tour, the 20-year-old fighter will now be on a prominent spot for her next bout when she faces Felice Herrig as part of the main card of UFC on FOX 15.

She beat Kailin Curran in a Fight of the Night performance on her debut, and will be receiving a huge step up in competition on just her sophomore outing with the promotion. According to VanZant, while she considers it an honor to fight a veteran like Felice, she always knew they would eventually get matched up together.

Why? Because of their looks. She spoke about it during an appearance at the MMA Hour:

"I always had on the back of my mind that me and Felice would fight, because we're the hot girls in the sport. So I kind of got myself ready for that."

"She's been around for a long time, and she's been somewhat of a veteran in the sport. Just to be fighting her, and to be at her level in as honor. I looked up to her when I first started the sport. She was someone who I wanted to follow in her footsteps. Now to be on the same playing field and the same level as her, it's exciting. I'm really excited about this fight."

VanZant also says that neither the step up in competition, nor the way she's being marketed feels like it's too much or too soon:

"I am very comfortable with that. A lot of people say I'm very young for all of this to be happening, but I've kind of always been ahead of my age. This is everything I knew I would be doing eventually in my life. I'm happy that it's happening now."

Paige says she had to move back to Nevada during her last fight to get therapy on an injured back. After taking care of those two bulging discs, VanZant says she has now returned to training full time with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento.

For a closer look at Paige VanZant, here's her interview from the MMA Hour back in 2014: