Paige VanZant is looking to return to the world-famous Octagon.
VanZant is going to have to wait for that moment to happen as well as make her debut in the newly created UFC women’s flyweight division. Originally, VanZant was set to fight Jessica Eye at UFC 216. However, she suffered a back injury last week and was ruled out to fight. Eye has been removed from the card, as well.
At 1-2 in her previous three bouts, VanZant eagerly accepted the bout with Eye because it didn’t require a debilitating weight cut. She hasn’t fought since this past December where she suffered a second-round submission loss to Michelle Waterson in a UFC on FOX 22 headliner.
Despite the injury, she is still hoping to fight in 2017. VanZant told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com that she is currently undergoing physical therapy for her injured back. Now, she is hopeful she’ll be able to fight again before the end of the year.
According to the article, the prospect suffered the injury training jiu-jitsu and was advised by her doctor to avoid training for a few weeks. She won't, however, need to undergo surgery.
“Depending on my healing timeline, I’ll fight anyone who is available,” she said.
The UFC is already moving forward without here as they have finalized the card for the event. UFC 216 is set to take place on Saturday, October 7th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The preliminary card will air on the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass, at 6 p.m. ET as well as FXX at 8 p.m. ET. The main card will be broadcasted on PPV at 10 p.m. ET.
An interim UFC Lightweight Championship bout between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee will serve as the main event. Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg in a flyweight title bout will serve as the co-main event. Rounding out the five bout main card is Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis, Paige VanZant vs. Jessica Eye, and Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham. Here is the card:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – for interim lightweight title
Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum
Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
PRELIMINARY CARD (FXX, 8 p.m. ET)
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
Poliana Botelho vs. Pearl Gonzalez
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)
Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell