VanZant fight pushed back over arm fracture


What would have been the last fight on Paige VanZant‘s UFC contract has been pushed back.

VanZant confirmed Friday on Instagram that she is out of her scheduled women’s strawweight bout against Amanda Ribas at UFC Brasilia on March 14 in Brazil. Randa Markos will fill in for VanZant and fight Ribas on the card, Markos wrote on social media.

In her post, VanZant wrote that she suffered a fracture in her right arm. This is the third such fracture in the arm, all in different places. VanZant broke her arm in a fight against Jessica-Rose Clark in January 2018 and has had complications ever since. The popular fighter has a plate and screws in that arm from the initial break and she wrote that this is the second time she has broken through one of the screw holes.

“I know I need to adjust my training now that I have a permanent plate and screws in there,” VanZant wrote. “I will make those adjustments and I will return successfully just as I have before. I am not going anywhere, I am only 25 years old and I am a gangster fighter.”

VanZant (8-4) said she plans on returning to the UFC in May. Whenever that fight comes to pass, it’ll be the last on her current UFC contract and she plans to test free agency. There will surely be many suitors. VanZant is one of the most popular women on the UFC roster, having crossed over into the mainstream on shows like “Dancing With The Stars.”

VanZant last fought at UFC Brooklyn on Jan. 19, 2019, a second-round submission win over Rachael Ostovich. The Oregon native went 1-1 at flyweight and is now dropping down to strawweight, where she fought in the UFC from 2014 to 2016.

“Anyone could choose to give up here, it would be the easiest thing to do,” VanZant wrote on Instagram. “But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength. Yes I fractured my arm again. No this isn’t the end of my story.”

Ribas (8-1) is one of the top women’s MMA prospects in the UFC. The 25-year-old Brazilian has won three straight and is coming off a win over Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Mackenzie Dern in October. Markos (10-7-1) is a stalwart in the women’s strawweight division, a six-year UFC veteran. The 34-year-old Iraqi-born Canadian has just one loss in her last four fights.

UFC Brasilia will be headlined by a lightweight fight between Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira. In the co-main event, grappling specialists Demian Maia and Gilbert Burns will face off.

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