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Paige VanZant Responds To Dana White's "Free Agency" Comments After UFC 251

Paige VanZant Responds To Dana White's "Free Agency" Comments After UFC 251

Paige VanZant has reacted to Dana White's "free agency" comments following UFC 251 and says it is "unfortunate" it was discussed in public.

VanZant suffered a fourth defeat in her last six fights in the opening bout on 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi, tapping out to an ambar from Amanda Ribas.

UFC president White discussed the fight in a post-show press conference and stated the 26-year-old should "definitely" try her hand at free agency away from the promotion.

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VanZant has now had her say and thinks White could have had the conversation with her in private.

"Honestly, I didn't actually see specifically the quote or what he said. I try not to pay attention too much," VanZant said per MMA Fighting.

"It's unfortunate because I feel like I have a really good relationship with Dana.

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"I feel like I thought we were closer friends and he could text me or call me. Something to have a little bit of compassion, something to communicate with me personally but maybe he will. We just don't know. I'm sure it's an uncomfortable situation."

"I've never spoken negatively about the UFC," VanZant continued. "I'm not bitter about where I am in my career, bitter about the position that the UFC has put me in whatsoever. I just felt like for myself, I wanted to test free agency and that's not because I dislike the UFC or dislike Dana or anybody.

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"Losing to the people I have lost to, I still consider myself one of the best athletes in the world.

"I know I'm going to be a champion. I know that I'll come back and keep fighting for many, many years."

VanZant's defeat to Ribas came inside the first round after just two minutes and 21 seconds.

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Speaking in his post-fight press conference, White declared: "I like Paige. It's like [Curtis] Blaydes when Blaydes fought. When you talk all that stuff, 'I'm not being paid enough,' and you're fighting inconsistently, one time in the last year, (suffering) injuries, and then got smoked in the first round of the fight?

"She should definitely test free agency."

VanZant has since been linked with a move to rival promotion Bellator.

What do you think the future holds for Paige VanZant?

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Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Paige VanZant/Instagram & MMAWeekly.com

Topics: Paige VanZant, UFC News, MMA News, UFC 251, UFC, MMA, Dana White

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Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.