Paige VanZant has issued her adoring fans with a challenge of recreating her plunge into a pool in 85-degree heat with husband Austin Vanderford, telling one that she would follow them back on Instagram in return for $1 million.
In a wide-ranging insight into her life and career, former UFC fighter and social media sensation VanZant began by portraying Vanderford, her husband who fights in Bellator MMA, at home in a pool.
The newly-signed Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) pin-up then shared a photo of herself plunging into the water on top of her husband, promising a prize for the fan who sent the best imitation of the scantily-clad snap to her.
“Show me a picture,” she asked her millions of followers, before adding “nothing weird” and sharing a photo of her favorite, showing a garish tattoo on Vanderford’s arm reading “true till death” and “PV”.
Despite her release from the promotion following a run of only one win in four fights across almost four years, VanZant clearly still has happy memories of her time with the UFC.
The 26-year-old accompanied a photo of herself charging across the octagon to celebrate after her debut UFC win over Kailin Curran in 2014, adding: “UFC debut, baby. $50k bonus.”
After a long search, VanZant found a photo of the weigh-in and fight from her amateur debut. “I was hooked,” she said. “Look at that face.”
Turning to Vanderford’s career, she answered a fan question about whether the unbeaten fighter could take on newly-released UFC fighter Yoel Romero, who is widely expected to sign for Bellator.
Established welterweight Vanderford would have to gain a significant amount of weight for the contest should Romero remain in the light heavyweight division, but VanZant replied “maybe” about the chances of the pair meeting.
VanZant named Conor McGregor’s whiskey brand as her favourite thing about Ireland and told a fan who asked what they would need to do for a follow: “One million dollars.”
She named Vanderford as her most treasured possession, having told him in the original photo, which was liked by her friend and veteran pornstar Kendra Lust, that he was “so bootyful”.
Motorsport athlete Collete Davis and Mara Romero Borella, who was also recently released by the UFC, were also among those to comment on the photo.
VanZant and Lust – real name Michele Anne Mason – met at a BKFC event, when the fighter appeared to announce that she would make her bow for the promotion against Britain Hart in February, coinciding with Super Bowl weekend.