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UFC on FOX 15 results: Paige VanZant silences haters, pummels Felice Herrig

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Paige VanZant didn't belong on network television, the critics said.

The Team Alpha Male strawweight was getting opportunities others weren't solely because of her looks, they bellowed.

At 21 years old and with just five pro fights under her belt, surely there were more worthy strawweights for a main-card slot against Felice Herrig at UFC on FOX 15 on Saturday night in Newark.

The haters sure are quiet now.

VanZant put on a star-turning performance Saturday night, with a relentless performance against an overmatched Herrig. VanZant won via unanimous decision, earning a pair of 30-26s and a 30-27.

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"I mean I started crying before the fight was over," Herrig (5-1) said about the impact of her win. "So I mean, it was very emotional."

The first round was fast-paced and back-and-forth, as each fighter scored in both the standup and on the mat. VanZant, though, turned up the pace over the final minute and trapped Herrig in a leglock in the closing seconds.

In the second, VanZant won the mental war, as Herrig (10-6) would shoot for takedowns, and VanZant would simply roll with it and finish the scramble on top. She came close to finishing Herrig with ground-and-pound at the end, but Herrig survived until the horn.

Herrig also had to survive the third round, which was 10-8 on two judges' scorecards. A huge flurry of punches from the top late in the round put a punctuation mark VanZant's efforts.

"I don't feel any pressure," VanZant said.

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