UFC president Dana White stated that the sudden rise of female strawweight Paige VanZant was similar to that of featherweight contender Conor McGregor.
And VanZant couldn’t be more pleased.
After scoring a recent victory over Felice Herrig, many view the youngster as a future champion in the UFC.
“I think Conor is awesome and to have Dana compare me to him is a huge honor,” she said, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight.
VanZant (5-1) was too young to compete on The Ultimate Fighter after originally being selected. Instead, the UFC signed her to a contract and paired her up with Kailin Curran last November. VanZant dominated, scoring a third round TKO victory.
She followed that performance up with her third straight win since a loss to Tecia Torres by controlling the veteran Herrig.
That title shot talked about is on the backburner for the time being, but VanZant is content with the path the UFC has put before her.
“I think it’s smart. I still have two years to be the youngest titleholder,” she said. “I can take my time and still break that record.”
Torres, who scored that decision over VanZant in 2013, has been one of those who believe the UFC has “gloves” on the youngster.
“It’s good. It’s harsh. It’s the fight business,”” she said. “It creates drama in the sport and ever since she said those things I’ve gotten thousands of followers. I love what I’m doing. I don’t need negative comments. I have a lot more to prove still.
“There’s going to be negativity out there no matter how successful I am. It’ll just give me a little more fire to keep winning fights.”