The UFC fighter explains how mixed martial art has contributed to her dealing with the trauma of being sexually assaulted as a boy and how she is using her celebrity status to aid other the number of victims of bullying and abuse
‘I‘m surely not a quitter ,” Paige VanZant says as the Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter explains why, in January, she refused to give up after she transgressed her forearm during the first round but combated on for 10 hours before losing a decision to Jessica-Rose Clark in St Louis. Her fortitude that night, and in other contests, has its roots in a dark history.
VanZant has also spoken of accepting years of browbeat and a painful gang-rape as a 14 -year-old in Oregon. Yet she has been derided by hardcore mixed martial arts fans for being hyped ahead of better soldiers because she is attractive and opens up the bloody business of enclosure opposing to a different audience.
Before she addresses the crime that roughly destroyed her 10 years ago, VanZant remembers her grit against Clark.” I so wanted to finish the fight ,” she says, cheerfully.” I ran so hard to get there I wasn’t going to let a separated arm take me out .”
VanZant is at home in Oregon, harbouring her limb after a second operation last month. The first procedure failed to fuse the bone and, as VanZant says,” this surgery is known to have complications “.
” It wasn’t super rare that there have been issues with the shattered bone. They’ve now done a bone grafting and put in a massive plateful. I’m hopeful it will now duty. In the fight I surely knew my arm ended. I heard it break, I felt it infringe. The adrenaline didn’t take over and it hurt very bad. It was huge mentally to convince myself to keep going .”
Surely she considered retiring?” I definitely did. At one point she was arm-barring my shattered forearm and she caught me in that triangle and I was trying to fight out of that with one hand. I’m thinking:’ Am I reaching it worse ?’ That was my biggest suspicion. On top of the fact it hurt really bad. But I have too much dignity to tap out .”