Paige VanZant - Rising UFC star

Yahoo Sports

If anyone was still questioning Paige VanZant's ability after her rousing UFC debut in November of 2014, they won't be anymore.

The 21-year-old former ring girl was labeled just a pretty face when she squared off with Kailin Curran at UFC on Fox 15 – when it was over, she was $50,000 richer after dominating her opponent en route to a performance of the night bonus from UFC president Dana White.

On Saturday, in front of pumped-up Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, VanZant put on a performance that should continue to quell any debate on just where exactly the blossoming flyweight belongs.


Meet Felice Herrig: Photos

(L-R) Opponents Paige VanZant and Kailin Curran face off during the UFC weigh-in at The Frank Erwin Center on November 21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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(L-R) Opponents Paige VanZant and Kailin Curran face off during the UFC weigh-in at The Frank Erwin Center on November 21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant poses for a portrait during a UFC photo session at the Horseshoe Bay Resort on November 19, 2014 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant
Paige VanZant poses for a portrait during a UFC photo session at the Horseshoe Bay Resort on November 19, 2014 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
@paige_vanzant: Behind the scenes from a little video shoot today:) #UFCAustin #ufc @ufc
Paige VanZant
@paige_vanzant: Behind the scenes from a little video shoot today:) #UFCAustin #ufc @ufc
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Paige VanZant poses for a portrait during a UFC photo session at the Horseshoe Bay Resort on November 19, 2014 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant
Paige VanZant poses for a portrait during a UFC photo session at the Horseshoe Bay Resort on November 19, 2014 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant weighs in during the UFC weigh-in at The Frank Erwin Center on November 21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant weighs in during the UFC weigh-in at The Frank Erwin Center on November 21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Kailin Curran (black trunks) throws Paige VanZant to the mat in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Kailin Curran (black trunks) throws Paige VanZant to the mat in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
(L-R) Paige VanZant kicks Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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(L-R) Paige VanZant kicks Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
@paige_vanzant: The best part of my week:)
Paige VanZant
@paige_vanzant: The best part of my week:)
@paige_vanzant: Bike ride by the river:)
Paige VanZant
@paige_vanzant: Bike ride by the river:)
@paige_vanzant: Pretty hot group of people ;)
Paige VanZant
@paige_vanzant: Pretty hot group of people ;)
@paige_vanzant: Elevation training in tahoe!!:) @thekng78 @sinjensmithmma @delo155 @vicious_125
Paige VanZant
@paige_vanzant: Elevation training in tahoe!!:) @thekng78 @sinjensmithmma @delo155 @vicious_125
Paige VanZant prepares to enter the Octagon before her women's bantamweight bout against Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant prepares to enter the Octagon before her women's bantamweight bout against Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant reacts after her TKO victory over Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant reacts after her TKO victory over Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
(L-R) Paige VanZant attempts to secure an arm bar submission against Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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(L-R) Paige VanZant attempts to secure an arm bar submission against Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant poses for a portrait backstage after her victory over Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant poses for a portrait backstage after her victory over Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
@paige_vanzant: Elevation training in tahoe!!:) @thekng78 @sinjensmithmma @delo155 @vicious_125
Paige VanZant
@paige_vanzant: Elevation training in tahoe!!:) @thekng78 @sinjensmithmma @delo155 @vicious_125
Paige VanZant prepares to enter the Octagon before her women's bantamweight bout against Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant prepares to enter the Octagon before her women's bantamweight bout against Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant reacts after her TKO victory over Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant reacts after her TKO victory over Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
(L-R) Paige VanZant attempts to secure an arm bar submission against Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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(L-R) Paige VanZant attempts to secure an arm bar submission against Kailin Curran in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Paige VanZant poses for a portrait backstage after her victory over Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Paige VanZant poses for a portrait backstage after her victory over Kailin Curran during the UFC Fight Night event at The Frank Erwin Center on November 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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