Paige VanZant knows she can’t fight forever.
Even at 25-years old, VanZant always has her eyes on the future with numerous endeavors that will keep her busy long after mixed martial arts is behind her. She's already written a book, competed on 'Dancing with the Stars', won a celebrity episode of the cooking series 'Chopped' and modeled for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
Her latest project is a new job in broadcasting working as a color commentator for M-1 Global with cards airing live in the U.S. via UFC Fight Pass.
With numerous active fighters such as heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, former champion Dominick Cruz and current top 15 lightweight Paul Felder all doing commentary work in addition to their UFC careers, VanZant felt like this would be the perfect time to start practicing a new craft that she hopes will turn into a long term job opportunity.
“There’s so many fighters who have been successful,” VanZant said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “Paul Felder, Dominick Cruz, Daniel Cormier, [Michael] Bisping was doing some of it at the same time, to be able to see how much success they’re having. I see it as getting my face out there on a new platform, which is great, but I get to sit ring side and watch some great fights.”
VanZant says she’s always thought about doing commentary for mixed martial arts broadcasts and timing really was everything when it came to this particular gig while she was sidelined with a broken arm.
“It’s something I felt like I would have a lot of success. I love fighting, I love talking about fighting and I’ve been in the cage, it’s just the same thing on the outside explaining what’s going on inside there,” VanZant said. “It was really my manager just called and asked if I would ever be interested to do some commentating for M-1 and Fight Pass and I jumped at the opportunity and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect with my arm.
“I’m in the process of healing it and to take a weekend to go over and do some commentary, it’s awesome.”
While this is still new to her, VanZant is taking the job very seriously because she really does hope to add color commentary and broadcasting to her constantly growing resume.
“I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself for this one but I’m hoping I do a good job,” VanZant stated. “Any time you do something new, you put a lot of pressure on yourself and you don’t really know if you’re good at it until you do it.
“If it is something that I’m good at and it’s something I could continue to do while I fight, I would love to keep this up and do it for a while. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”
Her debut commentary gig kicks off this Thursday night at M-1 Global’s ‘Battle In the Desert’ but VanZant hopes this is just the first of many times she’ll be calling fights in the coming years.
“This is 100-percent an opportunity I would never pass up because I do want this to be my future,” VanZant said. “If I can be successful and keep practicing while I’m an active fighter, when my career is over, I’ll already have those doors opened up. I won’t have to try to figure out what direction I’m going.
“It’s something I actively thinking about day to day cause I keep breaking my freaking arm. I’m like I need to figure out, I don’t know when my arm is going to totally give out, it just opens my mind that you never know when you’re last fight is so I’m trying to just trying to open all these doors and I’m doing it concurrently with my fighting career.”