According to an Aug. 7 report from Yahoo! Sports, Invicta FC veteran, Paige VanZant, will become the youngest female to ever step into the UFC cage when she takes on Kailin Curran on Oct. 4 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on a UFC Fight Night card. VanZant, 20, was originally scheduled to be part of The Ultimate Fighter 20 reality show, but she was too young to be booked to be part of the cast. The UFC only allows contestants age 21 and up to compete on the show, due to alcohol laws.
Not being part of the show might be a blessing in disguise for VanZant, as she essentially received a free pass into the UFC's main card roster for strawweights. She won't have to go through a tournament of 16 women to earn a crack at the belt. VanZant will need to defeat Curran, and then maybe just one or two other females, to get bumped into a title fight against whoever wins TUF 20. The downside of VanZant not being on the show is that fight fans won't get to see her bright personality shine through.
VanZant, who went the distance with Tecia Torres in an Invicta FC fight last year, is no stranger to the bright lights of high-level shows, as she competed for such top promotions as Invicta FC and Ultimate Reno Combat. She's coming off a victory over Courtney Himes, over a year ago under the BCP banner. VanZant has been busy developing her skillset under Urijah Faber's guidance, with Team Alpha Male in California.
As for her opponent for UFC Fight Night in Nova Scotia, she's an undefeated 23-year-old from Hawaii. Curran was signed to the UFC after winning three-straight fights in the Pacific Xtreme Combat league. She won three in a row via unanimous decision, as she topped Kaiyana Rain, Yoo Jin Jung and others.
As an added bonus to Curran and VanZant's inside-the-cage skills, both ladies are extremely attractive. Since both VanZant and Curran are incredibly beautiful, thousands of casual fight fans might just tune in for the good looks. Is there anything wrong with that? Not necessarily. Both women are extremely talented inside the cage, but they are both gorgeous. The hope is that the fans who come for the good looks, will stick around for the skills.
Here's the thing: With the right marketing, VanZant and Curran could both become household names. Part of their appeal is that they are both stunning as far as physical appearances goes, so that's all part of marketing. However, they will need to back up their good looks with solid performances inside the cage, if they want to get to the same level of popularity as Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.