Paige VanZant might be a "Dancing With The Stars" champion before winning UFC title.
The popular UFC women's strawweight fighter earned a berth in the "DWTS" finals Monday night in the semis after two more stellar performances with partner Mark Ballas. Two couples were eliminated on the episode, but VanZant and Ballas were not one.
There are three total couples left heading into next week, the final episode of the season. So, VanZant has made it all the way through to the end with a chance to win the whole thing.
VanZant and Ballas teamed up with Alan Bersten for their first dance Monday night, an entertaining samba with VanZant dressed in a jungle outfit. That earned perfect 10s across the board for a total score of 30.
In the second dance of the night, VanZant and Ballas performed a steamy Argentine tango that judge Len Berman dubbed too risqué. The other two judges gave it a 10, but Berman held out with a nine for a total of 29 out of 30.
VanZant, 22, is likely to be back in the Octagon in late summer. She won't be on the big UFC 200 card, because "Dancing With The Stars" cut into her potential training time. "12 Gauge" is coming off a loss to Rose Namajunas back in December, but won three straight in the UFC before that and emerged as a marketable potential star.
That has been realized on a sensational season of "DWTS," a popular primetime show on ABC. VanZant has gained a sizeable additional following from the program.