Paige VanZant has revealed she made more money for one season on Dancing with the Stars than in her entire UFC career.
The women’s flyweight contender has dropped all of her sponsors for her contest with Amanda Ribas on Fight Island just to prove her worth to the company.
VanZant made headlines last year when she revealed she makes more money by posting pictures on Instagram than she does from fighting.
Intimate saps with husband Austin Vanderford have raised eyebrows during lockdown to say the least, but the 26-year-old insists she is switched on for her fight and plans to see out her contract with the organisation.
Before her fight with Amanda Ribas on Fight Island at UFC 251, VanZant is prepared to bet on herself as a free agent.
“I’ve added up all the money I’ve made in the UFC over six years, and I could have just had a regular job with the same pay,” VanZant said. “I’m so thankful for everything the UFC has done for me, the platform they’ve given me.
“This is nothing against the UFC. But the contract I signed is what I signed and I know I need to honour it. That’s why I’m fighting this last fight out and I was never trying to break it early.
“It’s important to fight this fight out, honour my contract and then say, ‘listen, this is my value and this is what I need to be paid to make it worth it.’”
The world as we know it is in a state of disarray owing to the coronavirus, although the UFC have battled valiantly to try and put shows on.
Without an audience, funds are not always readily available and the likes of Conor McGregor and Jon Jones have retired completely – or so they claim – while Jorge Masvidal accepted a slightly lower sum than he wanted to fight Kamaru Usman.
And ’12 Gauge’ VanZant had no issue revealing exactly how much she makes in the wake of several fighters expressing their concern at the level of pay discrepancy.
“So I make $46,000 [to show] and (another) $46,000 [to win],” VanZant added. “I’m not going to hide that because everyone knows.
“I can make way more money than that just promoting brands on Instagram, and that should say something.
“Why would I step away from all the amazing success that I have? I made more money on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ than I have in my entire UFC career combined – every fight, every win, every bonus.
“I love fighting. It’s what I love to do, and for this fight I dropped every single sponsor. I haven’t posted anything on Instagram.
“Nothing matters to me except this fight and it’s a clean slate for me. I’m just excited to go out there and prove my value to absolutely everybody. And I think that fighting is how I do that.”