UFC women’s flyweight Paige VanZant has admitted she would like to follow in Ronda Rousey’s footsteps by moving over to the WWE.
The 24-year-old hasn’t fought since January after breaking her arm in the loss to Jessica-Rose Clarke, which resulted in her needing several operations before she could begin rehabilitation.
VanZant, who is currently in Lisbon speaking at global tech conference Web Summit, said she would be very interested in becoming a professional wrestler in the future.
“The WWE would be an amazing platform for someone like me. I’d love to make that transition to WWE. I love showing off my girly side and that could give me a great opportunity to do so,” said VanZant.
“I’ve previously done Dancing With The Stars and I loved that experience so I’d love to try something different,” she added.
Ironically, one of the other main speakers on the Sports Trade stage at Web Summit was WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon and VanZant said she hopes to meet her at the event. “I know Stephanie McMahon is here and I am hoping to arrange a meeting with her.”
However, the UFC star was quick reiterating her desire to continue her career in MMA before making any move into the wrestling world. “Fighting is still my biggest passion and I plan to have a long fighting career. But I also need to prepare for life after that and the WWE is something I’d definitely be open to.”
Earlier this year, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey hung up her gloves and signed for the WWE and has made an easy transition into the sport. The UFC and WWE also have a close relationship as can be seen with Brock Lesnar, who was permitted to fight in the UFC despite being contracted to the WWE.
While at the conference, VanZant was discussing personal branding as an athlete and admitted that she receives lots of negative criticism on social media that can upset her at times. “I look after most of my social media and I get a lot of negativity which isn’t very nice. I can get ten thousand positive comments on a post with maybe one hundred negative, but I will sometimes focus on the negatives, which I should stop doing.”
She was also asked about Conor McGregor’s approach to branding and she said she was a “huge fan” of his self-promotion. “I think he is a genius for what he has done to become the richest MMA fighter in history. I have nothing but absolute admiration for him,” she finished.
Sports journalist based in Dublin Ireland