Throughout her UFC journey, Paige VanZant has talked about taking things slow. And it makes sense. At just 21 years old, VanZant is both young in the game and one of the few strawweights with the potential to become a legitimate crossover star. The road from prospect to contender can be a fragile one, and considering the unabashed brutality of the division’s queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk, there’s no doubt that the patient route should be the most lucrative route for a fighter like VanZant.
But that’s the funny thing about taking it slow: the higher you aim, the harder it is to stop that crawl from breaking into a full-out sprint. For VanZant, that crawl broke into a full-out sprint this past October, when Rose Namajunas replaced the injured Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night 80, and suddenly the young super-prospect found herself matched up against the division’s No. 3 ranked fighter. Once that happened, VanZant realized a date with Jedrzejczyk could be approaching sooner than many first expected.
“I’m young in this sport. I’m a new athlete,” VanZant said. “I’ve always been an athlete, but as far as competing in MMA, I only had one amateur fight and then ….View original article
Source:: mma fighting