There was no movie makeup here.
That photo of a nasty cut on her foot that Paige VanZant posted last month on social media was legitimate, she told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. And she needed seven stitches for it.
“That was totally real, super painful,” VanZant said.
VanZant said she found it amusing about all the speculation when she posted it. Some fans said it looked like a shark bite, others thought she got stabbed, she said. But in reality, it was just a weird training injury.
“12 Gauge” said she was rolling at her Gracie Barra Portland gym when her foot got caught on a hook-like piece of the garage door that separates the facility from outside. The hook took a chunk out of her foot. It was not pretty.
“It just hooked my foot and ripped it open,” VanZant said. “It got ripped open. It was really painful. The worst part is you could see my muscles and my tendons move in my foot when I wiggled my foot. It was gross.”
VanZant, who meets Jessica Eye at UFC 216 on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas in her move up to flyweight, compared the cut photo to a video she posted on social media in the spring. VanZant, who has received mainstream attention, including competing on “Dancing With The Stars” last year, shot a video on Instagram of her rolling around on the floor in some new Reebok gear.
Some headlines referred to it as racy, VanZant ended up deleting it and other fighters (like Chris Weidman) actually posted parody videos of it. It was a lesson for VanZant. Sometimes when you’re a popular, young, marketable athlete, stuff you post on the internet will end up going viral. And there’s no control over it.
“You never know what’s gonna take off,” VanZant said. “All of a sudden I saw that my foot was on TMZ. Me cutting my foot open. So you never know what you’re gonna post that’s just gonna take off.”