'Sunshine mixed with a bit of quarantine': UFC's Paige VanZant raises spirits with bikini selfies (PHOTOS)
Octagon favorite VanZant – who boasts an 8-4 pro MMA record – has been out of action for more than a year with a series of arm injuries, but still has one fight remaining on her current UFC contract.
The flyweight star was targeting a return against Amanda Ribas at UFC Brasilia last weekend, although that bout fell through as VanZant suffered another fracture to her right arm.
She was forced to put her forearm in a cast, but recently had that removed and is stepping up preparations for what she hopes will be an octagon return in May.
But these are uncertain times as the coronavirus pandemic lays waste to sporting events around the world, including in the UFC – which has canceled its next three events.
VanZant, 25, and husband and fellow MMA fighter Austin Vanderford are following social distancing advice as they continue to train, but the UFC stunner is at least helping keep her fans’ spirits up through her Instagram output.
That included a sunny self-isolation update on Friday, with former Sports Illustrated model VanZant donning a bikini and sharing the message: “Sunshine mixed with a bit of quarantine.”
Like her fellow fighters, VanZant faces an uncertain wait over how the coronavirus will continue to affect the UFC.
Promotion chief Dana White is adamant that despite cancelling the UFC’s next three cards, they will get back on track as soon as things return to a semblance of normality.
White has vowed that the UFC 249 lightweight title showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson on April 18 will go ahead, despite the setback of seeing the original venue, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, being ruled out due to social curbs being imposed.
That fight may well be the litmus test as to how soon VanZant and her other fighters can expect to step back into the octagon.
But in the meantime VanZant is keeping a sunny disposition, and is helping her 2.4 million Instagram followers do the same.