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14th Dec 2016

Paige VanZant is not opposed to fighting Ronda Rousey at a catchweight

Fight fans don't think it's the best idea

Darragh Murphy

We’re all for confidence but Paige VanZant’s apparent willingness to mix it up with Ronda Rousey sounds just a tad ridiculous.

The eighth ranked strawweight in the world is in the midst of a hectic media week as she promotes the upcoming UFC on Fox 22 event on Saturday night.

As she spoke to the press in the lead-up to her clash with Michelle Waterson this weekend, VanZant would have been prepared for a few questions about the returning Ronda Rousey, given the fact that the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion is the most recognisable female fighter on the planet.

And, surprisingly, ’12 Gauge’ has actually revealed that she would be open to fighting Rousey at a catchweight of 125lbs.

That bout would require VanZant to move up from her more typical weight division of 115lbs while Rousey would be forced to fight below 135lbs for the first time in her mixed martial arts career.

VanZant is still largely seen as a prospect, having faced a reality check in the form of Rose Namajunas last December, but she rebounded and knocked out Bec Rawlings in stunning fashion in August.

And she’s clearly brimming with confidence.

“If she wants to meet at 125lbs,” VanZant told TMZ when asked about a potential match-up with Rousey. “I’d have to bulk up but I would consider going up to 125lbs. It’s not that big of a weight gain for me. We’ll see if we meet at 125lbs.”

VanZant has previous with ‘Rowdy’ as the latter recently took umbrage with the fact that VanZant, generally regarded as one of the friendliest fighters on the UFC roster, had congratulated Holly Holm on her victory over Rousey last November.

Rousey is reportedly quite a bit leaner for her upcoming comeback, which comes against Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 207, but making 125lbs is likely a bridge too far.

And considering the weaknesses that VanZant has shown against strawweights like Namajunas, fight fans aren’t holding out much hope for her in a potential catchweight clash with the Rousey, an Olympic bronze medallist in judo.