Paige VanZant
12 Gauge

USA

Out
Injury Arm
Est. Return 6/1/2020
Nearing return after cast removal
StrawweightUFC
Out
March 24, 2020
VanZant (arm) had her cast removed Monday and is hoping for a quick return to action, Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The UFC schedule remains a bit in limbo due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, but once the company starts getting back to normal, it will have one of its most well-known commodities at its disposal. VanZant last competed in January of 2019, but had been dealing with an arm injury going into that fight that appears to have been made worse by competing. After several additional setbacks ended up requiring more than 14 months on the sidelines, VanZant is now ready to schedule the final fight of her UFC contract. She had originally been schedule to fight Amanda Ribas on March 14, but was forced to withdraw due to complications with her arm injury.
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Won't fight at UFC Brasilia
StrawweightUFC
Out
January 23, 2020
VanZant (arm) will no longer fight at UFC Brasilia on March 14.
ANALYSIS
VanZant had initially agreed to fight Amanda Ribas in a strawweight matchup at UFC Brasilia, but she apparently won't be ready to make her return to the Octagon. VanZant has been sidelined since January of 2018 after suffering multiple arm injuries. Randa Markos will take VanZant's place in the fight on short notice. It's unclear when VanZant will be ready to make her return.
Targeting return in March
StrawweightUFC
Out
November 25, 2019
VanZant (arm) has agreed to a strawweight bout against Amanda Ribas at UFC Brazil on March 14, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
VanZant has found an opponent for the final fight on her current deal with the UFC. While contracts have yet to be signed, both parties have agreed to it. She moved up to 125-pounds for her previous two fights, going 1-1 in the process. Her last bout was a victory over Rachael Ostovich via submission in January of 2018, but multiple arm injuries have kept her sidelined since. Now, she will reportedly return to the strawweight division to take on Ribas, who sports an 8-1 MMA record.
Hints at strawweight return
StrawweightUFC
Out
June 19, 2019
VanZant (arm) told Farah Hannoun and Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com that she is considering a return to the strawweight division for the final fight of her UFC contract.
ANALYSIS
VanZant is 1-1 in the UFC since moving up to 125 pounds, most recently submitting Rachael Ostovich via armbar in January. However, VanZant has had a long history of arm injuries even before the Ostovich matchup. It was originally broken via a spinning backfist attempt in her flyweight debut against Jessica-Rose Clark in January of 2018, and that forced her to take more than a year off and undergo multiple surgeries. After the Ostovich fight, she broke the arm again just months later, which effectively called off a scheduled fight against Poliana Botelho. VanZant resumed sparring in May, but that progress was eventually halted when she suffered a non-union fracture in a new spot that was caused by delivering an elbow to the head of one of her training partners. After yet another surgery, VanZant is hopeful to return to training by September and potentially fight again in the fall. With all the time off, she believes beginning to work with a nutritionist again could help her make the cut back to 115 pounds. Whether at flyweight or strawweight, it will be the final bout of her UFC contract.
Expects to train in mid-September
StrawweightUFC
Out
June 17, 2019
VanZant (arm) said Monday in her podcast appearance on "Ariel Helwani's MMA Show" that she was told by her surgeons that she will resume training at 100 percent in 12 weeks, afsda
ANALYSIS
The 12-week timeline essentially aligns with what VanZant projected before she underwent a third surgery on her right arm June 13. Assuming ZanVant is in fact facing no restrictions by mid-September, she should make another appearance in the Octagon before the end of 2019.
Needs surgery after reinjuring arm
StrawweightUFC
Out
June 3, 2019
VanZant will undergo surgery June 13 after reinjuring her right arm during a sparring session in January, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
VanZant first required surgery on her right arm after breaking it in a January 2018 loss to Jessica Rose-Clark at UFC St. Louis. The initial procedure ultimately proved unsuccessful, necessitating a second surgery last July. VanZant returned to the Octagon in January and defeated Rachael Ostovich via submission, but broke her forearm again while training after that fight. The 25-year-old hoped that rest and rehab would be all she needed to recover from the latest setback, but she'll ultimately need to go under the knife a third time after the broken bone didn't heal properly. VanZant said she expects her latest round of recovery from surgery will last three months, meaning she won't fight again until at least the final quarter of 2019.