Angry Paige VanZant says she'll 'still be beautiful' if ex-UFC star gets 'cut open' in brutal bare-knuckle boxing debut
PAIGE VANZANT has hit back at critics of her career switch to bare-knuckle boxing, insisting that she'll 'still be beautiful' regardless.
The American signed an exclusive four-fight contract with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship after leaving the UFC following the expiry of her deal with Dana White's promotion last summer.
Promotion president White, 51, had urged her to test free agency, after her disappointing defeat to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 last July.
But rather than a move to Bellator or PFL, VanZant made the surprising switch to the brutal art of bare knuckle boxing – leading to criticism from fans.
Ahead of her promotion debut against Britain Hart next weekend, the former UFC flyweight has hit back at 'haters'.
She told TMZ: "All the negativity about 'Oh! My face!' Grow up.
"It's a face, and it's mine, and I can do whatever I want with it – and guess what? I'm still going to be beautiful even if I get cut open. It's not a big deal.
"That's so condescending to think of your beauty as being important."
VanZant also opened up on her frustration at people's negativity surrounding her choices.
She added: "You know what? I have, for the majority of my career – and I've been thinking about this – why have I kept my mouth shut so much about all the haters, and about all the hate and negativity I get?
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"My idea was, if you talk s*** about somebody, you should be willing to say that to their face.
"And not a single person who has said anything negatively about me publicly has been willing to say it to my face, and I've seen people in person."
VanZant, who posted an 8-5 record in the UFC, will be hoping for a significant payday, having previously hit out at the promotion following botched negotiations with White and Co.
She told Ariel Helwani: "I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting.
Okay, but why are comparing me to just women? All of us should be getting paid more in general
"When I did my contract negotiation the last time, the talk was, 'I can’t pay you more than a female champion.’
"Okay, but why are comparing me to just women? All of us should be getting paid more in general.
"I want a significant pay raise, to be completely honest.
“I’ve just been extremely accomplished outside of the UFC, as well as inside of the UFC.
"Five wins in the UFC, four finishes, I’ve been main event twice, and I think someone with those accolades should be paid more."
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