Paige VanZant shares how she left the UFC to make her most successful career decision: “I could retire tomorrow, and be financially independent.”


Paige VanZant is finally doing exactly what she wants — and she’s getting paid a lot of money to do it.

Following her exit from the UFC in 2020, the 27-year-old fighter inked a lucrative contract to join the roster at BKFC to start her bare-knuckle fighting career. Then, just recently, she signed a long-term deal with All Elite Wrestling to begin her journey in professional wrestling. VanZant also launched her own premium content website, of course, which has only added to the overall financial success she’s discovered in the two years since her exit from the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world.

” I could retire tomorrow, and my children would be fairly close to financial freedom,” VanZant stated on The Fighter. The Writer.

VanZant is quick to give credit to the UFC for helping to serve as a launching pad for her career, because that’s where she became a household name, through her fights with the promotion.

That being said, she also worked hard throughout her octagon run to ensure she was setting herself up for prosperity in the future, even if her biggest paydays wouldn’t happen until after her UFC contract ended.

” I’m lucky enough to have built my name,” VanZant stated. “I know how hard I worked in the UFC and I know how much dedication I had. I did all the appearances nobody else wanted to do. I traveled the world. Each weekend I traveled to a new state and made appearances. It was a blessing that I had the ability to have a grind mentality and build my reputation. Social media was a big part of my business, and I was able to do what I could for my brand.

” So, when my UFC contract was over, I had the opportunity to get out and sign with BKFC. They offered me a great contract. This contract opened doors for me to other opportunities that were not possible when I was in the UFC .”

VanZant made a public statement about her concern regarding her UFC earnings and said that her Instagram income was more than what she earned from her fight contracts.

Looking back now, VanZant holds no ill will whatsoever towards the UFC — if anything, she’s extremely complimentary about the promotion — but she knows leaving was by far the best move for her career.

“Of course, I love the UFC,” VanZant said. I love this organization. There’s a reason they are as successful as they are. There’s a reason they were able to get to this level. They have a well-oiled machine and they’re very, very good at it.

“But, I am certain in my heart that they won’t pay me enough and I will not fight again for them. It doesn’t seem like I see any benefit to going back into the UFC. Right now I am fortunate that I have built my self up and can use it wherever I go .”

Having just started her professional wrestling training, with plans to debut in AEW later this year along with expectations to return to BKFC action, VanZant has plenty to keep her busy these days.

None of what’s happening right now in her career could prevent her from returning to MMA, but VanZant also acknowledged that fighting is her choice, and it’s no longer a necessity.

” I don’t need to do MMA,” VanZant stated. At this stage in my life, there is no need to do anything. It’s all because it is something I enjoy. I’ve been so fortunate enough that I have one of the best management teams in the world.

” It took them six months to make me millionaire after I arrived in Florida. I have been training since that time and it has only fuelled my passion. I am able to keep fighting, train, and do whatever I like. They made it so I had the opportunity to just do what I want to do. It doesn’t mean I have to endure the unpleasant things on the way. I don’t need to agree to everything .”


With her AEW contract signed and getting her first BKFC win still on her to-do list, VanZant can’t imagine things going any better, but MMA always remains an option for the future.

“[My management team] truly changed my life. I was able to sit down with Paige and ask, “OK Paige, What do you want from your time, your life, and your career?” VanZant stated. “I am so lucky to have that management team behind me, so I can do exactly what I want.

“I want to fight for AEW. I want to fight for BKFC. Contract is open-ended so I could still do MMA at the same time. Although I love MMA, I also know that my doors are not shut on MMA. However, I do have a passion for pro wrestling and bare-knuckleboxing .

VanZant is busier than ever, with her many commitments. She doesn’t intend to slow down anytime soon.

If anything, she’s only planning on adding more to her resume in the coming years while also continuing to build the brand that has allowed her to become so successful.

” I am only getting started,” VanZant stated. “I know I am. Even as successful as I’m sure people see me as, I still feel there’s things I could have started a lot sooner. It’s possible to do things I haven’t started yet. I’m destined to be successful and I just feel like every day is a gift from God to just keep hustling. So you’ve got to use every minute of every day to just be as successful as possible. I’ve been very lucky.

“I don’t want it to be a huge negative. Like me quitting the UFC being the best decision of my life. Yes, it was. Another factor was me moving to Florida, getting with my management team, First Round Management, Malki Kawa — it was all those kinds of things, [they’re] pieces of the puzzle that all happened at the same time. Yeah, the UFC doesn’t necessarily allow the contracts to benefit the fighters. It’s business. They are motivated to make a profit. This is how they succeed. I get how business works, but I’m in the Paige VanZant business, so I’m just trying to make as much money as possible while I can.”