Paige VanZant is ready to fight again, but there’s one name she has no interest in seeing on the other end of a bout agreement.
The former strawweight turned flyweight hasn’t fought since January when she earned a second-round submission over Rachael Ostovich before she was forced back into surgery to deal with a broken arm that has haunted her for nearly two years.
VanZant is finally healthy now and ready to book her next fight with the potential to compete at either 115 pounds or 125 pounds, but she’s only interested in an opponent who has earned her respect.
“Lesson of the day: RESPECT,” VanZant wrote on her Instagram account. “One of the first lessons we learn in martial arts is respect. I respect those who have dedicated themselves to this profession and given it their everything to achieve greatness through showcasing their skill.
“I respect every female fighter tagged in this post. With that said, it would be an honor to share the cage with any of you ladies at 115 or 125. If any of you are interested, let UFC and Mick Maynard know because I’m healthy and ready to get back in there.”
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Lesson of the day: RESPECT One of the first lessons we learn in martial arts is respect. I respect those who have dedicated themselves to this profession and given it their everything to achieve greatness through showcasing their skill. I respect every female fighter tagged in this post. With that said, it would be an honor to share the cage with any of you ladies at 115 or 125. If any of you are interested, let @UFC & @mickmaynard2 know because I'm healthy and ready to get back in there. @xiaonan_yan @jodieesquibel @syuri_official @cynthia.calvillo @spidermonkeyyoda @alexa_grasso @tatianasuarezufc @karolinakowalkiewicz @castironcasey @karatehottiemma @angieoverkill @alexchambersmma @teciatorres @randamarkos @emwhitmire115 @mackenziedern @zhangweilimma @livinhaufc @marinarodriguezmma @shockwavecifers @virnajandiroba @amandaufcribas @briannathebull @arianelipski @jessicammapro @joannajedrzejczyk @alexisdavismma @jessicaevileye @roxyfighter @laurenmurphymma @maryna_moroz_ufc @bulletvalentina @blondefighter @badmofo_jojo @veronicamacedomma @luciepudilovamma @champyoni @maramarvillarb @kalindrafaria @polianabotelho_ufc @wuyananufc_ @nadia187kassem @montana.delarosa @rachaelostovich @danger_dobson @savage_ufc @pedritaprvtufc @polyanaviana @princesstiger_mma @andreakgblee @meatballmolly @jennimaiaufc @antoninapantera @arianelipski @tailasantos.ufc @sabinamazo @viviaraujomma @mirandagranger @hannahgoldy @fightermizuki @dianabelbita @luanadread
VanZant went onto tag almost every strawweight and flyweight fighter currently on the UFC roster from Tatiana Suarez to Mackenzie Dern to Jessica Eye and Andrea Lee but the one name absent from her list was undefeated prospect Maycee Barber.
Barber has been calling out VanZant for several months but the former “Dancing with the Stars’ runner up doesn’t want to reward her with a fight after the way she went about asking to face her. The situation got so ugly that VanZant accused Barber of sending private messages to her husband Austin Vanderford on Instagram, which essentially shut down the potential that she would accept that fight.
“We will fight anyone but Maycee at 115 or 125,” VanZant’s manager Kyle Stoltz told MMA Fighting on Wednesday. “The disrespect shown by Maycee to us has made us not interested in fighting her. We know what fighting Paige does to someone’s career and we don’t want to give that to Maycee for being disrespectful.”
VanZant has also spoken openly about her current UFC contract coming to an end with her next fight as she plans to test the free agency market afterwards.
As of now, there’s still no word on when VanZant will return or who she will face but it’s obvious that Barber won’t be her opponent when it happens.