Paige VanZant plans to take her time and become youngest champion in UFC history

At just 21 years-old, Paige VanZant has quickly made a name for herself in MMA.

Fox Sports
Fox Sports

With her last win against veteran Felice Herrig on the main card of UFC on Fox 15, VanZant has established herself as an up-and-comer in the strawweight fighter and as a mixed martial artist that improves at a rapid rate from fight to fight.

Just six fights into her career, VanZant is comfortable with being patient regarding a potential title shot in the developing strawweight division.

“I think it’s smart,” VanZant said on UFC Tonight last week. “I still have two years to be the youngest title holder. I can take my time and still break that record.”

While VanZant has received much praise from a wide array of people – including Dana White who compared her to Conor McGregor, the young fighter still has her critics. One of the loudest critics being fellow strawweight Tecia Torres who alluded to the fact that Dana White wouldn’t give VanZant a title shot because she is the UFC’s “golden girl”.

VanZant has taken the criticism in stride.

“It’s harsh. It’s the fight business,” VanZant said. “It creates drama in the sport and ever since she said those things I’ve gotten thousands of followers. I love what I’m doing. I don’t need negative comments. I have a lot more to prove still.”

As VanZant continues to rise up the ranks, she’ll likely face more criticism, but she’s learned quickly how to handle the negativity.

“There’s going to negativity out there no matter how successful I am,” said VanZant. “It’ll just give me a little more fire to keep winning fights.”