UFC

Paige VanZant.

Paige VanZant out of UFC 200 due to Dancing with the Stars commitment

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For a long time, UFC 200 was expected to be a landmark event that would show off the organisation's array of talent on one must-see card.

Those hopes took a huge hit last month when Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz were removed from the event, and today has brought further bad news with reports that another of the UFC's "most marketable names" will not be fighting on July 9.

That's after the manager of female UFC star Paige VanZant told MMA Fighting that his client is ruling herself out of the event for a rather unusual reason.

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Rather than injury or a lack of a suitable opponent - usually the primary reasons for a fighter missing a pay-per-view - VanZant is out of UFC 200 because she is so focussed on her current involvement with US television show 'Dancing with the Stars'.

"After thinking about it, the show is taking up a lot of her time," Roberts explained this week. "She wants to have time to improve and get better, so we decided to postpone her return to about late-August."

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The reasoning behind keeping the strawweight out of UFC 200 is a slightly ironic one when you consider the fact that VanZant's whole involvement with Dancing with the Stars in the first place was a way for her to build her popularity in the run-up to July's much-hyped Las Vegas pay-per-view.

Now, though, with the 22-year-old actually excelling on the primetime TV show - she was handed a perfect score on this week's episode and is seen as one of the favourites to win the series - her activities away from the octagon have affected her ability to fight inside it.

UFC Fight Night: Herrig v VanZant

Obviously, losing out on VanZant's presence on the UFC 200 undercard isn't in the same league as having to wave goodbye to McGregor and Diaz, but it is still a blow for the organisation who clearly had high hopes that the event could be the next stage in the female fighter's promising career.

Missed opportunity

Despite only having had four UFC fights, three of which were victories, she has already been touted for great things.

Dana White has previously noted that she has the "it" factor, while the 22-year-old already has a big sponsorship deal with Reebok in the bag as well as Fight of the Night honours.

Her impending absence from the UFC 200 card is, then, a disappointment considering the huge numbers the company is hoping to do for the event.

For VanZant, meanwhile, a "late-August" return would mean 10 months without a fight. Her last outing came in December against Rose Namajunas - her first loss in the UFC.

 

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Topics:
Dana White
UFC
Jose Aldo
Anderson Silva
Conor McGregor
Ronda Rousey

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