At just 23, Paige VanZant is already one of MMA’s most recognizable stars. But at least one of her fellow strawweights thinks VanZant may have gone a little far in her latest advertising pitch.
VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), a Reebok-sponsored fighter, recently posted a video on her social media promoting the company’s new “Black and White collection.” She later deleted the clip, leaving only a still photo, instead.
Reebok Black and White collection. pic.twitter.com/7SSCN0TkhE
— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) April 30, 2017
The video, in which the fighter bares her midriff and rolls around on a white carpet while panning for orders, drew mixed reviews in VanZant’s own Twitter feed, but former Invicta FC champion and current UFC contender Angela Hill (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) was characteristically outspoken with her criticism of the spot.
Just call 1-800-HOT-GIRL and talk to real live girls. We can’t frickin wait to answer your call. Call now! https://t.co/HIJlbhhOCN
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) April 30, 2017
But the criticism wasn’t limited solely to the women’s division. Undefeated Canadian lightweight Jeremy Kennedy (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) also took exception to VanZant’s approach at pushing her sponsor.
VanZant is no stranger to the spotlight – and the attention and criticism it brings – already headlining a pair of UFC events just six fights into her octagon run.
She’s already made a few mainstream appearances, as well. In 2016, VanZant finished as runner-up on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” competing alongside the likes of NFL stars Antonio Brown, Doug Flutie and Von Miller, as well as actresses Mischa Barton, Marla Maples and Kim Fields. This past month, she was featured on a celebrity edition of the Food Network’s cooking competition series “Chopped.”
“12 Gauge” has also been an outspoken anti-bullying advocate throughout her career.
What’s your take? Did VanZant step over a line in this campaign, or is she simply using her spotlight to bring attention to the company that helps pay her bills? Let us know in the poll below.