VanZant says losses happen, she got caught, but she believes she’s still going to go very very far in MMA (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson (photo credit Kyle Tereda © USA Today)
Paige VanZant entered last night’s bout as a slight favorite over Michelle Waterson yet was submitted via rear naked choke in the first round.

VanZant was honest about what happened in the fight and refused to make excuses for her loss when speaking at the post-fight press conference. “I got caught tonight,” she said. “It happens. I’m not blaming any other outside factors, no matter what went on. I got caught, and it happens in this sport.”

She heaped praise on Waterson’s performance and said she believes Waterson will excel in the UFC. “Michelle Waterson’s a really good fighter,” she said. “She used to be the Atomweight Champion for Invicta FC, so I know she’s going to go very, very far in this sport. I knew it was going to be a big test for me.”

Despite losing, VanZant remains optimistic and hopeful about her future in the sport and vows she’ll return better than before. “I was meant for the spotlight, and I’m going to continue to be in the spotlight,” VanZant said. “I will be back, and I’m going to have the belt one day. I’m 22 years old. I have a long time, I have the best team in the world. I’ll be back.”

VanZant falls to 7-3 and entered the bout ranked 8th in the Strawweight division.

Cervantes Analysis: MMATorch’s Michael Grocke, in his report, said that the VanZant hype train had officially been “derailed” last night after she lost. I’m not so sure I agree, but after alternating losses in her last three fights, the UFC may need to take a step back in how much they market her. She’s a solid fighter, but as was shown last night and in her fight with Rose Namajunas, she has several glaring holes in her striking and jiu-jitsu that need to be addressed. Still, I’m glad she’s optimistic and she has every right to be given that she’s so young and training with one of the best teams in the sport. It was a tough loss, but I’m sure she’ll come back from it.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS NEWS STORY: Mickey Gall’s statement victory over Sage Northcutt on Saturday sets him up for rapid rise (w/Cervantes Analysis)

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