Just a few hours after Paige VanZant let fans know that she's signed a new contract with the UFC, we now know her next fight will be her main event debut. ESPN's Brett Okamoto confirmed with UFC officials that the 21-year-old strawweight phenom will face Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10th. The entire card will stream live on Fight Pass.
VanZant (6-1) has won all of her UFC bouts in impressive fashion, most recently finishing Alex Chambers in the 3rd round at UFC 191 two weeks ago. Her other victories have come against Felice Herrig and Kailin Curran and have propelled her up to 6th in the strawweight rankings.
Calderwood (10-1) rebounded from a shocking loss to Maryna Moroz by rallying from a slow start and beating Cortney Casey-Sanchez in her home nation of Scotland. The 28-year-old was a quarterfinalist on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, but was eliminated by eventual runner-up Rose Namajunas.
VanZant vs. Calderwood kick-starts a massive fight week for the UFC, which will hold 3 events in 3 days in Las Vegas from December 10th-12th. This Fight Pass card starts it off, and then UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor finishes it, with The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale sandwiched in-between.
Tickets for UFC Fight Night: VanZant vs. Calderwood go on sale next Friday. Here's the full list of fights for the special Thursday card, which includes a co-main between lightweights Jim Miller and Michael Chiesa.
Paige VanZant vs. Joanne Calderwood
Michael Chiesa vs. Jim Miller
Thiago Santos vs. Elias Theodorou
John Howard vs. Tim Means
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Kevin Casey
Lyman Good vs. Omari Akhmedov
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Andreas Stahl
Phillipe Nover vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Kailin Curran vs. Emily Kagan
Michael Graves vs. Danny Roberts
Edgar Garcia vs. Sheldon Westcott