Paige VanZant is one of the more popular UFC fighters on social media, especially on Instagram. And part of that is why VanZant plans to demand a significant raise when her current contract with the MMA promotion expires.
VanZant, who is sidelined recovering from another surgery on her injured arm, was in the corner of her husband, Bellator MMA fighter Austin Vanderford, this past weekend. VanZant was a guest on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show and explained her reason for seeking more money in the future.
"I see these other stars that cross over from other organizations," VanZant said (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). "Take CM Punk. I don't think I have quite the same star value CM Punk does. It's a different industry and he has a huge fan base where he comes from. I'm not saying (the UFC) is devaluing me, but I do know how much money I make in comparison to (Punk, Greg Hardy) and I do want to show the UFC that I'm so much more than just a star outside of fighting."
VanZant has appeared on a handful of reality shows on major networks and was featured in several magazines even while sidelined with her injury. Overall, she is 8-4 in her career with five of those victories coming in the UFC.
"The hard thing for me to put in perspective is with endorsements I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting," VanZant said. "With endorsement deals and everything I pull in from social media, I would actually be at a loss just taking a fight and focusing on that. If I were to stop everything I do outside of fighting and take a fight, I would be at a loss financially."