It hasn’t taken Paige VanZant long to build a big fanbase and get some nice endorsements, but Urijah Faber warned in her advance that she’d also have some critics.

If you’ve followed the rise of VanZant, then you know she was signed by Reebok, even before the sporting goods giant launched its uniforms for the UFC. Some observers took issue with the deal, since VanZant is just 21 and wasn’t even in the title shot mix at the time.

Others understood, however, why Reebok and the UFC would want to market the rising strawweight. After all, audiences tend to gravitate to pretty and promising athletes…

Well, recently Faber spoke to MMA about his Team Alpha Male teammate, and here is some of what he had to say:

“That poor girl was just thrown into that whirlwind,” Faber said. “I think it’s part of being a girl and the pretty girl syndrome, you’re going to have a lot of haters. I prepared her for that a long time ago.”

“The first thing is, she’s just generally a very, very positive person, a happy demeanor, takes things in stride,” Faber added, while discussing the fact VanZant has a solid support group. “The second thing is, she’s super tight with her family. Her mom and her dad are like, those are her best friends, she’s with them all the time, when she’s done with her fights, she goes and hangs out with her mom and her dad. There’s something to be said about that.”

It will be interesting to see what comes next for VanZant, who is coming off a submission win over Alex Chambers at UFC 191. “12 Gauge” is currently ranked #6 in the strawweight division.