Four years into her career fighting as a strawweight, Paige VanZant opted to move up to the newly established women’s 125-pound division. But apparently, it was necessary decision to make.
Specifically, the 23-year-old fighter was grinding herself out too much to make the 115-pound limit, that it became a strenuous situation to deal with, both for her and her family.
“It's a big cut for me. I’m a lot heavier than people realize,” VanZant said on Monday’s MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “I was honestly killing myself for this sport. In my last I want to say two fights or three fights, I’ve passed out in my bathroom. This last one, I passed out and had the doctors almost not cleared me for the fight.”
“My parents have never seen me cut weight, but they watched this one and they told me if I ever did that again they were gonna disown me,” she added. “They thought, I'm killing myself for this and it's not worth it. It's not worth hurting myself physically for a sport.”
“The 125 division is finally getting built, so it just made sense for me to try it out. I’m moving up,” VanZant explained. “I’m a big advocate for body positivity and I was putting myself through an eating disorder to make weight. And it became not fun for me anymore. I hate cutting. I hated the process. Obviously, passing out on your bathroom floor is not fun, because you’re dying in a bathtub.”
“I think that the world will see that I’m so much better at 125. I’m gonna be healthier, I'm gonna be stronger, I’m gonna be faster. I can't wait to show that off.”
UFC 216 is slated to take place on October 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.