UFC fighter Paige VanZant recently spoke to FloCombat.com about the struggles of cutting weight to compete in the 115-pound Women's Strawweight Division:
"I don't like to make excuses, I don't want to take anything away from anybody but it came to a point where my team and my parents told me that if I'm going to keep making that weight cut that I need to stop fighting. It's just not worth it. I was killing myself to make 115 [pounds]. It's a hard, hard cut for me," VanZant told FloCombat on Thursday.
"My last one, one of my best friends found me passed out on my bathroom floor and they didn't know what to do anymore. It was too hard of a cut for me and I've said it before, I'm a really big advocate for body positivity and loving yourself for who you are. I really was giving myself an eating disorder to try and make weight and killing my body. Putting it through something worse than it needed to go through to make weight."
"For the first few fights in the UFC it was before USADA had taken over so I was able to IV," VanZant explained. "It really was the last three fights where we weren't able to IV anymore. I was able to pull it together. Like obviously when I fought Bec [Rawlings] I was able to pull it together but I just couldn't rehydrate and couldn't recover fast enough.
"I was still feeling dehydrated and feeling the weight of the weight cut in the cage. I wasn't athletic and I was just drained for all the fights."
"Some of my doctors were telling me I'm doing permanent damage to my body and they told me I needed to start picking a new career or I need to make some changes," VanZant said. "I feel like it is even scarier for a girl. Obviously, I want to have kids, I want to have a family but I could ruin that by cutting weight. It's definitely a scary situation to put yourself in."
Paige then discussed moving up to the 125-pound Women's Flyweight Division and taking on Jessica Eye:
"I'm just really happy. I told the UFC it's time for me to go up and luckily we were doing as much as we could to find a matchup. Jessica Eye was the only one available so we agreed to take the fight," VanZant said.
"They are opening up the flyweight division so it's perfect timing. With "The Ultimate Fighter" airing right now, it's immediately going to give me so many more opponents to fight at 125."
"I know for sure I'm going to feel so much better. The fact that I don't have to cut the extra 10 pounds. My body will easily make 125 but getting anything lower than 125 just hurts me. I know I'm going to be more athletic than I've ever been. I'm going to be stronger than I've ever been. It's just going to be whole new athlete. I'm the most athletic I've ever been at 125.
"I think the world's going to see this is where I really belong in the 125 division. I can't wait to get back in there."