MMA fans will be surely disappointed to hear this bit of news. Paige VanZant won't be on The Ultimate Fighter 20.
This comes according to Urijah Faber (VanZant's Team Alpha Male teammate) after speaking with Anton Tabuena of BloodyElbow.
"Paige has now signed straight with the UFC," Faber said.
This contradicts earlier reports that VanZant would be a member of the TUF 20 cast after coming over from Invicta FC.
The reasoning behind this is VanZant is only 20 years of age, a year below the standard requirement of 21 to be in the TUF house. The UFC requires contestants to be of legal drinking age while on the show due to the availability of alcohol in the TUF house.
In the end, the move may be for the best for VanZant. Competing on TUF doesn't always show fighters competing at the best of their abilities given the living conditions combined with the amount of fights in a short amount of time.
She'll be competing against the same ladies she would've fought if she were on the show upon her arrival in the Octagon, and given the popularity of women's MMA at the moment, she likely will still enjoy the boost in fans that the ladies competing on the show will get.
And of course, there's the fact that she's without a doubt one of the more attractive females in the sport. The UFC won't hesitate to push someone who can not only bring it in the cage (just watch any of her fights—she's a gamer) but also has a pretty face to look at.
It also gives her more time to work on her game, as VanZant is still a raw prospect but has a great camp to train with, so there's no reason she shouldn't improve.