'Instagram pays more than the UFC,' says Paige VanZant

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UFC flyweight Paige VanZant, 25, has continued her campaign against unequal pay between men and women within her sport – by revealing how her Instagram earnings compare.

Out of the Octagon, VanZant runs a successful social media account, providing lifestyle, fitness and motivational content to 2.3 million followers.

And like many other high-profile figures in the world of sport, she is paid by companies to feature their products or services.

While sponsored posts and collaborations represent the dream living for many young people today, VanZant has clarified that she does not want to earn her living this way.

Appearing on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show on ESPN, VanZant spoke powerfully about her desire to be paid as much as her male counterparts in the UFC, and about her wish to fight – rather than influence – for her money.

She said, as per The Sun: "I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting. When I did my contract negotiation the last time, the talk was, 'I can’t pay you more than a female champion’.

"Okay, but why are comparing me to just women? All of us should be getting paid more in general. I want a significant pay raise, to be completely honest."

Adding credit to her claims, VanZant then went on to cite her enviable track record - suggesting that a fighter with her reputation should not have to worry about being paid appropriately.

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She said: “I’ve been extremely accomplished outside of the UFC, as well as inside of the UFC. Five wins in the UFC, four finishes, I’ve been main event twice, and I think someone with those accolades should be paid more.”

Currently sidelined after surgery on a broken arm sustained earlier this year, VanZant has been running down her contract to become a free agent - in the hope of sealing a deal which reflects her status alongside male fighters.

Time will tell if the sport’s organisers are really listening.

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